In July, exports fell 3.3% over the same month last year (June: -1.6% year-on-year), which came in below market expectations of a 2.6% decline. Imports increased 9.9% (June: +9.8% yoy), which was, nevertheless, below the 11.0% rise anticipated by the market. The trade balance recorded a surplus of JPY 72 billion (USD 938 million) following the surplus of JPY 69 billion tallied in June. Electrical machinery and motor vehicle exports, which together account for around 40% of total shipments, led the monthly contraction, but continued to improve compared with the previous month. On the other hand, imports of petroleum, which account for around 15% of total purchases, climbed 19.1% (June: +30.1% yoy). Japan's demand for petroleum and liquefied natural gas to feed the fuel-based power plants is booming, as they attempt to compensate for the loss of nuclear power generation. Meanwhile, exports to China and the United States fell, while those to the European Union improved. A monthly analysis corroborates the deterioration seen in annual figures, with exports expanding a seasonally-adjusted 0.8% over the previous month, which followed on from a 5.2% increase in June. Meanwhile, imports fell 0.4% over the previous month, slowing from June's 0.3% expansion. The recovery in the external sector remains well on track amid an upswing in manufacturing output, but faltering global demand and a strengthening yen may depress the outlook of the export-driven economy going forward.
Japan Trade Balance
Trade surplus widen slightly in July
August 18, 2011
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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, 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).
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.