Japan: Exports increase at a milder pace in September
October 20, 2021
Yen-denominated merchandise exports rose 13.0% year-on-year in September, following August’s 26.2% increase. While September’s result marked the seventh consecutive month of double-digit export growth, the reading was still the weakest result since February. Meanwhile, imports jumped 38.6% on an annual basis in September, cooling from August’s 44.7% increase that had marked the best result in over three decades. However, both of September’s readings were aided by a healthy base effect, with September 2020 having coincided with a sizeable pandemic-induced decline in trade volumes.
As such, the merchandise trade balance remained unchanged from the prior month, recording a JPY 0.6 trillion deficit in September (August 2021: JPY 0.6 trillion deficit; September 2020: JPY 0.7 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a JPY 2.1 trillion surplus in September, compared to the USD 3.4 billion surfeit in August.
Author: Stephen Vogado, Economist