Mount Fuji, Japan

Japan Trade December 2017

Japan: Export growth decelerates in December

Nominal yen-denominated exports increased 9.3% from the same month last year in December, following 16.2% growth in November. The reading was below market analysts’ expectations of 10.1% growth.

The increase in exports in December was mainly supported by still-solid growth in exports of machinery and electrical machinery, followed by manufactured goods and chemicals, although growth in all these export categories decelerated relative to November’s readings. Overall, strong overseas demand, particularly from China and Europe, is driving the country’s export performance.

Annual growth in imports decelerated from 17.2% in November to 14.9% in December, nevertheless beating analysts’ expectations of 12.3% growth. Imports of mineral fuels such as petroleum, LNG and coal all recorded double-digit growth and contributed close to half of the total import growth in December.

The trade surplus went down from JPY 636 billion in December 2016 to JPY 359 billion in December 2017. Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade surplus fell to JPY 2.99 trillion in December, which was lower than the JPY 3.27 trillion surplus recorded in the previous month.

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