In December, exports contracted 8.0% over the same month the previous year (November: -4.5% year-on-year), coming in slightly below the 7.4% contraction anticipated by the market. Meanwhile, imports grew 8.1% (November: +11.4% yoy), which was broadly in line with market expectations. As a result, the trade deficit narrowed from the JPY 688 billion (USD 8.9 billion) recorded in November to the JPY 205 billion (USD 2.6 billion) registered in December. The deterioration in exports was broad-based, as all of the major categories recorded losses, particularly in electrical machinery and transport equipment. On the other hand, mineral fuel purchases, which account for around a third of total imports, remained buoyant as Japan seeks to compensate for shortfalls in the nuclear power industry by importing fuel. Overall, in 2011, Japan recorded a trade deficit of JPY 2.5 trillion (USD 32 billion) mainly due to rising energy imports in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Exports, on the other hand, deteriorated on the back of a loss of production capacity after the 11 March tsunami, a strengthening yen and cooling global demand. In fact, the 2011 trade deficit represents the first shortfall in the trade balance since 1980. Overall, in 2011, exports declined 2.7% (2010: +24.4% yoy) and imports expanded 12.0% (2010: +18.0% yoy).
Japan Trade Balance
Japan records its first annual trade deficit since 1980
January 26, 2012
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Japan Economic News
October 24, 2016
The Nikkei Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose from September’s revised 50.4 (previously reported: 50.3) to 51.7 in October.
October 24, 2016
In September, nominal exports valued in yen declined 6.9% from the same month last year, which followed August’s 9.6% decline.
October 12, 2016
Core machinery orders (a leading indicator of capital spending over a three- to six-month period) declined for the first time in three months in August.
October 4, 2016
Consumer sentiment rose from August’s 42.0 to 43.0 in September.
October 3, 2016
According to the Bank of Japan’s quarterly TANKAN business survey, sentiment among large manufacturers was stable at 6 in Q3.