Japan: Exports drop for 14th month running in January
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.