Japan: Japan posts largest trade surplus in nine months
July 25, 2012
In June, exports dropped 2.3% over the same month last year. The decline contrasted the 10.0% rise observed in May but undershot the 3.0% drop expected by the market. Simultaneously, imports fell 2.2%, contrasting the 9.3% rise seen in May and exceeding market expectations that had imports contracting 1.1%. In fact, the reading marked the largest drop in imports since December 2009. As a result, the trade balance reached a surplus of JPY 62 billion (USD 789 million), which is virtually unchanged from the JPY 64 billion surplus recorded in the same month last year and represents the largest trade surplus since September 2011. The trade balance benefited from lower prices for oil, as the country continues to purchase fuels in order to compensate for the lost of nuclear power generation after the 11 March Tohoku earthquake. That said, the energy bill is expected to decline in the coming months, after the restart of two nuclear reactors in July.