In October, exports contracted 3.7% over the same month last year (September: +2.3% year-on-year), which contrasted market expectations of a 1.1% increase. Meanwhile, imports jumped 17.9% (September: +12.1% yoy), coming in above the 15.8% rise anticipated by the market. As a result, the trade balance swung to a deficit of JPY 274 billion (USD 3.6 billion) in October, from a surplus of JPY 296 billion in September. The monthly drop was broad-based, as most of the major categories recorded losses. Electrical machinery, which accounts for around a fifth of total shipments, contracted 12.3% over the same month last year, while transport equipment, which accounts for around a quarter of total exports, declined a more moderate 0.2%. On the other hand, mineral fuel purchases, which account for around a third of total imports, rose 35.6% in October, which was above the 32.5% rise recorded in September. Fuel imports continue to soar, as Japan attempts to compensate shortfalls in the nuclear power industry with increased output in fuel-based power plants. A monthly analysis corroborates the contraction seen in the annual figures, with exports declining a seasonally adjusted 3.5% over the previous month in October, which was well below the 1.4% increase seen in September. On the other hand, imports also confirmed the acceleration suggested in the annual reading, as imports rose 2.8% over the previous month, contrasting September's 2.4% drop.
Japan Trade Balance
Trade balance turns negative as exports fall in October
November 21, 2011
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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.