Japan’s government says exports fell for the fifth straight month in July as the country grapples with a strong yen and the ongoing impact of March’s earthquake and tsunami.

The finance ministry said Thursday that exports fell 3.3 percent from a year earlier to 5.78 trillion yen ($75.6 billion).

Exports are a key driver of the world’s No. 3 economy. The March 11 disaster damaged or destroyed factories in northeast Japan, and led to parts shortages for manufacturers. While the country has made progress in restoring supply chains, it now faces a strong yen and a slowing global economy.

The finance ministry said imports in July rose 9.9 percent to 5.71 trillion yen, resulting in a trade surplus of 72.5 billion yen.

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