Japan Trade January 2020


Japan: Exports drop for 14th month running in January

February 19, 2020

Yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 2.6% in January in year-on-year terms, after dropping 6.3% in December. The reading marked the 14th consecutive decline in exports, although it was better than market analysts’ expectation of a 7.0% decrease, and was largely due to lower shipments of machinery. Imports fell 3.6% in January after dropping 4.9% in December.

The merchandise trade balance narrowed to a deficit of JPY 1.3 trillion in January from the shortfall of JPY 1.4 trillion in the same month a year earlier. Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit narrowed to JPY 1.5 trillion in January from JPY 1.6 trillion in December.

Our panelists forecast that, in 2020, exports will increase 2.3% and imports will rise 2.6%, bringing the trade balance to a deficit of USD 2.1 billion. In 2021, our panelists expect exports to expand 5.0% and imports to rise 4.5%, prompting the trade balance to log a surplus of USD 1.6 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Japan Trade Chart

Japan Trade12m January 20 20

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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