Japan: Trade balance continues to soar in November
December 18, 2013
In November, nominal yen exports rose 18.4% over the same month last year, which was broadly in line with the 18.6% increase recorded in October. The expansion slightly exceeded the 17.9% rise that market analysts had expected.
Imports jumped 21.1% in annual terms in November, following the strong 26.2% increase recorded in October. The expansion was broadly in line with market expectations of a 21.4% increase. The rise in imports was mainly influenced by higher fuel purchases as a result of a weak yen and the continued shutdown of nuclear plants, which followed the Tohoku earthquake that took place in March 2011.
The trade balance registered a JPY 1.3 trillion deficit (USD 12.9 billion) in November, which marks a deterioration over both the JPY 1.1 trillion shortfall tallied in the previous month and the JPY 1.0 trillion recorded in the same month last year. This is the 17th consecutive month of trade deficit and the largest shortfall in the last 10 months. Accordingly, the trailing 12-month sum of the trade deficit widened from JPY 10.5 trillion in October to JPY 10.8 trillion in November, marking yet another record high.