Japan Trade May 2018


Japan: Export growth strengthens in May

June 18, 2018

Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports increased 8.1% annually in May, accelerating from April’s 7.8% expansion and outpacing market expectations of a 7.5% increase. Stronger export growth in May came on the back of increased shipments of machinery and electrical machinery. May’s trade report boosts confidence that the economy gained traction in Q2 following Q1’s lackluster performance.

Import growth also accelerated in May to a robust 14.0% on an annual basis, above the 5.9% rise recorded in April. The figure, which exceeded market expectations of an 8.0% increase, was driven by increased imports of mineral fuels, especially oil, and of chemicals.

The merchandise trade balance swung to a JPY 578 deficit in May from a JPY 626 billion surplus in April due to the surge in imports. Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade surplus fell to JPY 2.2 trillion in May from JPY 2.6 trillion in April.


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Japan Trade Chart

Japan Trade12m May 2018

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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