Japan: Export growth in January plummets to 2009 levels
February 18, 2016
In January, nominal exports valued in yen declined 12.9% over the same month last year, which followed the 8.0% decrease recorded in December. The fall exceeded the 11.0% drop that market analysts had expected and represented the sharpest contraction since October 2009. Exports were negatively affected by lower exports to China.
Imports contracted 18.0% annually in January, which matched the result tallied in December. The print was below the 15.9% decrease that market analysts had expected and represented the steepest contraction since October 2009. Imports continued to decline at double-digit rates due to the fall in energy prices.
As a result, the trade balance recorded a JPY 646 billion deficit (USD 5.7 billion) in January. The reading was better than both the JPY 1.2 trillion shortfall tallied in the same month of the previous year and the JPY 648 billion deficit that economists had expected. In the 12 months up to January, the trade deficit was JPY 2.3 trillion, which was down from the JPY 2.8 trillion shortfall that was recorded in the previous month and represented the smallest deficit since November 2011.