Japan: Exports contract at fastest pace in seven months in August
September 18, 2019
Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 8.2% year-on-year in August, the ninth consecutive decline. Although the print exceeded the 1.5% drop in July, it was better than the 10.0% contraction expected by market analysts. The result mainly reflected sharp declines in exports to emerging-market economies, especially China.
Meanwhile, imports fell 12.0% in annual terms in August, down from the 1.2% drop in July. The reading also exceeded the 10.7% decline expected by market analysts and was mainly the result of lower imports of energy, including coal, gas and oil.
The merchandise trade deficit fell from JPY 0.4 trillion in August 2018 to JPY 0.1 trillion in August 2019 (July: JPY 0.3 trillion surplus). Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit declined from July’s JPY 2.7 trillion to JPY 2.4 trillion in August.