Japan: Exports drop for the 12th consecutive month in November
December 18, 2019
Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 7.9% year-on-year in November, representing the 12th consecutive monthly decline, after dropping 9.2% in October. Still, November’s reading was better than the 8.6% decrease market analysts were expecting.
Exports were hampered in November by a sharp drop in both manufactured goods and machinery shipments. On a geographical basis, exports to Korea slumped notably, partly due to rising trade protectionism between Korea and Japan, as did exports to the United States.
Merchandise imports fell 15.7% in November, down from the 14.8% decrease in October. The merchandise trade balance therefore improved to a JPY 0.1 trillion deficit in November, up from the JPY 0.7 trillion deficit recorded in the same month a year earlier (October 2019: JPY 0.0 trillion balance). The 12-month trailing trade deficit was JPY 1.5 trillion in November, down from JPY 2.2 trillion in October.
Author: Edward Gardner, Economist