Japan Trade


Japan: Export growth decelerates in May

June 17, 2015

In May, nominal exports valued in yen expanded 2.4% over the same month last year, which represented a deceleration over the 8.0% increase recorded in April. The print fell short of the 3.0% increase that market analysts had expected and represented a nine-month low.

Imports contracted for the fifth consecutive month in May, falling 8.7% annually, which followed the 4.2% drop tallied in April. The print exceeded the 7.5% decrease that market analysts had expected. Imports continue to fall as the decline in energy prices is cutting costs.

As a result, the trade balance recorded a JPY 216 billion deficit (USD 1.7 billion) in May, which was greater than the JPY 917 billion deficit in the same month last year. The print came in broadly in line with the JPY 259 billion shortfall that economists had expected. In the 12 months up to May, the trade deficit was JPY 7.7 trillion, which was down from the JPY 8.4 trillion shortfall that was recorded in the previous month and represented the smallest deficit since January 2013.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

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Japan Trade Chart

Japan Trade12m May 2015

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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