Japan Trade July 2019


Japan: Drop in exports softens in July

August 19, 2019

Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 1.6% year-on-year in July, up from June’s 6.6% decline. The result was the eighth consecutive contraction and was smaller than the 2.2% drop that market analysts had expected. The contraction reflected falling exports to China amid rising global trade tensions.

Meanwhile, imports fell 1.2% in annual terms in July. The reading was up from the 5.2% decline logged in June and above the 2.7% fall expected by market analysts.

The merchandise trade deficit was steady at JPY 0.2 trillion in July 2019 compared to the same month last year (June: JPY 0.6 trillion surplus). Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit was unchanged at June’s JPY 2.7 trillion in July.

Our panelists forecast that exports will expand 0.7% in 2019 and imports will rise 1.7% compared to the previous year, bringing the trade balance to post a surplus of USD 7.0 billion. In 2020, FocusEconomics panelists expect exports will expand 4.2%, while imports will rise 5.3%, prompting the trade balance to swing to a deficit of USD 0.8 billion.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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Japan Trade Chart

Japan Trade12m July 2019

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Ministry of Finance and FocusEconomics calculations.

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