Japan: Exports drop for 13th month running in December
Yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 6.3% in December in year-on-year terms, after decreasing 7.9% in November and marking the 13th consecutive decline. The reading was worse than the 5.2% drop in exports market analysts had expected and reflected sharp declines in exports to the U.S. and Korea. Imports fell 4.9% in December, after dropping 15.7% in November.
The merchandise trade balance deteriorated to a deficit of JPY 0.2 trillion in December, down from the JPY 0.1 trillion deficit logged in the same month a year earlier. Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit widened to JPY 1.6 trillion in December from JPY 1.5 trillion in November.