Japan: Exports drop for the 15th month running in February
Yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 1.0% in February in year-on-year terms, after dropping 2.6% in January, largely due to lower machinery shipments, which make up nearly one-fifth of total merchandise exports. The reading marked the 15th consecutive decline in exports. Imports slumped 14.0% in February, after dropping 3.6% in January.
The merchandise trade balance improved to a JPY 1.1 trillion surplus in February from both the JPY 0.3 trillion surplus in the same month a year earlier and the JPY 1.3 trillion deficit in January. The 12-month trailing trade deficit narrowed to JPY 0.8 trillion in February from JPY 1.5 trillion in January.