Japan: Imports expand at fastest pace in nearly four years in October
November 20, 2017
Nominal exports valued in yen increased 14.0% from the same month last year in October, following September’s 14.1% rise. The print undershot an acceleration to a 15.8% increase that market analysts had expected. Despite the deceleration, global deman appears to be buoyant as exports managed to expand at a double-digit rate for the fourth month in a row, continuing the best year-to-date performance since 2008.
Growth in imports accelerated from 12.1% in September to 18.9% in October. The print came in below the 20.2% rise that markets had expected but represented the fastest acceleration since January 2014. The strong growth in imports mostly reflected higher commodity prices.
The trade surplus went down from JPY 481 billion in October 2016 to JPY 285 billion in October 2017. Accordingly, in the 12 months leading up to October, the trade surplus fell to JPY 3.3 trillion, which was lower than the JPY 3.5 trillion surplus recorded in the previous month.