Japan: Exports contract for fifth consecutive month in October
November 21, 2012
In October, exports contracted 6.5% over the same month last year, marking the fifth consecutive monthly fall. The contraction exceeded market expectations of a 5.1% decline but, nonetheless, was an improvement over the 10.3% drop tallied in September. As a result of the monthly reading, in the 12 months up to October, exports declined 3.0% over the same period the previous year (September: -2.8% year-on-year). Meanwhile, imports fell 1.6% in October over the same month last year. The print contrasted the 4.1% rise observed in the previous month and overshot market expectations that had shipments contracting 3.8%. Building on the subdued reading, the moving 12-month sum imports increased 5.1% in annual terms (September: +6.7% yoy). As a result, the trade balance registered a deficit of JPY 549 billion (USD 6.7 billion), which prompted the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance to reach a JPY 6.2 trillion deficit in October, larger than the JPY 6.0 trillion shortfall observed in September.