Japan: Exports log sharpest drop in three years in October
Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 9.2% year-on-year in October, the 11th consecutive monthly decline and the sharpest drop in three years. October’s reading was below both the 5.2% decline in September and the 7.6% contraction expected by market analysts. The result mainly reflected sharp declines in exports to neighboring Asian countries, especially South Korea, as well as to the United States.
Meanwhile, imports fell 14.8% in annual terms in October, markedly down from the 1.5% drop in September. The reading, however, was better than the 16.0% decrease that market analysts had expected.
The merchandise trade balance was flat in October 2019, up from the JPY 0.5 trillion deficit in October 2018 (September: JPY 0.1 trillion deficit). Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit was JPY 2.2 trillion in October (September: JPY 2.7 trillion).