Japan Trade Balance


Exports expand the most in over two years

In May, nominal yen exports rose 10.1% over the same month last year, following the 3.8% increase seen in April. Moreover, the print marks the fastest expansion seen since December 2010 and overshot market expectations of a 6.4% increase. As a result, in the 12 months up to May, exports were 2.3% below the level recorded in the same period last year, which represents a slight improvement over the 2.4% decline seen in the 12 months up to April.

Meanwhile, imports increased 10.0% in annual terms in May. The print followed the 9.4% rise tallied in April and fell short of market expectations of a 11.0% rise. As a result, the moving 12-month sum of imports rose 3.7% over the same period last year (April: +3.6% yoy).

Finally, the trade balance registered a JPY 994 billion deficit (USD 10.4 billion) in May, which was larger than the JPY 908 billion deficit observed in the same month last year and marks the 11th consecutive monthly shortfall. Accordingly, the trailing 12-month sum of the trade deficit rose from JPY 8.5 trillion in April to JPY 8.6 trillion in May.

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Japan Trade Balance Chart

Japan Trade12m May 2013

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