Japan: Strong yen continues dampening trade in September
October 24, 2016
In September, nominal exports valued in yen declined 6.9% from the same month last year, which followed August’s 9.6% decline. Although the fall was softer than the 10.4% drop that market analysts had expected and the smallest drop in six months, it represented the twelfth consecutive decrease in exports. Exports in volume, however, expanded at the fastest pace in nearly two years, signaling that Japan’s all-important external sector is weathering the strengthening of the yen and weak global demand relatively well.
Imports contracted 16.3% annually in September, which was above August’s 17.2% drop. A strong yen and low energy prices continue to weigh on imports.
As a result, the trade balance recorded a JPY 498 billion surplus (USD 4.8 billion) in September. The reading contrasted the JPY 121 billion deficit registered in the same month of the previous year. In the 12 months up to September, the trade surplus rose to JPY 2.7 trillion, which was up from the JPY 2.0 trillion recorded in the previous month and represented the highest reading since May 2011.