Japan: October exports record largest drop in 17 months
November 19, 2015
In October, nominal exports valued in yen declined 2.1% over the same month last year, which contrasted the 0.5% increase recorded in September. The print was broadly in line with the 2.0% drop that market analysts had expected and represented the sharpest contraction since May 2014.
Imports contracted 13.4% annually in October, which followed the 11.0% drop tallied in September. The print was below the 8.6% decrease that market analysts had expected and represented a seven-month low. Imports continue to fall as the decline in energy prices is reducing costs.
As a result, the trade balance recorded a JPY 111 billion surplus (USD 904 million) in October. The reading contrasted both the JPY 742 billion deficit tallied in the same month last year and the JPY 246 billion shortfall that economists had expected. In the 12 months up to October, the trade deficit was JPY 4.1 trillion, which was down from the JPY 5.0 trillion shortfall that was recorded in the previous month and represented the smallest deficit since January 2012.