In January, exports contracted 9.3% over the same month last year (December: -8.0% year-on-year), broadly in line with market expectations. In contrast, imports grew 9.8% (December: +8.1% yoy), coming in slightly above the 9.6% rise anticipated by the market. As a result, the trade deficit widened sharply from the JPY 206 billion (USD 2.6 billion) registered in December to the JPY 1.5 trillion (USD 19.2 billion) observed in January, marking, in fact, the largest deficit on record. The deterioration in exports was broad-based, as all of the major categories recorded losses, particularly manufactured goods and electrical machinery. Moreover, shipments to China, Japan's largest export market, plummeted 20.1%, mainly due to seasonal effects stemming from the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. 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.
Japan Trade Balance
Trade deficit widens to a record high in January
February 20, 2012
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Japan Economic News
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.
September 30, 2016
In August, the core consumer price index was flat compared to the previous month, which was above the 0.2% decline in July.
September 30, 2016
In August, industrial production expanded 1.5% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, which contrasted July’s 0.4% decrease (previously reported: 0.0% month-on-month).