Japan: Trade balance hits largest surplus in over six years
March 22, 2017
Japanese nominal exports valued in yen increased 11.3% from the same month last year in February, following January’s 1.3% increase. The print exceeded the 10.6% increase that market analysts had expected and represented the fastest acceleration in over two years. The external sector is benefiting from a weak yen and stronger global demand.
Imports expanded 1.2% annually in February, which followed January’s 8.4% increase. The print beat the 0.6% rise that the markets had expected. Higher prices for raw materials is pushing up imports.
As a result of the strong rise in exports, the trade balance recorded a JPY 813 billion surplus (USD 7.3 billion) in February. The reading was better than the JPY 235 billion surplus registered in the same month last year and marked the largest surplus since October 2010. In the 12 months up to February, the trade surplus rose to JPY 4.1 trillion, which was higher than the JPY 3.6 trillion surplus recorded in the previous month.