Japan: Trade balance returns to surplus in June
July 25, 2016
In June, nominal exports valued in yen declined 7.4% over the same month last year, which followed the 11.3% decrease recorded in May. The fall was milder than the 11.6% drop market analysts had expected. A strong yen and subdued global demand are weighing on Japan’s external sector.
Imports contracted 18.8% annually in June, which exceeded May’s 13.8% drop and marked the 18th consecutive monthly decline. Nonetheless, the print was better than the 19.7% decrease that market analyst had expected. Low energy prices and a strong yen continue to add pressure on imports.
As a result, the trade balance recorded a JPY 693 billion surplus (USD 6.5 billion) in June. The reading contrasted the JPY 61.0 billion deficit tallied in the same month of the previous year. In the 12 months up to June, the trade surplus rose to JPY 0.7 trillion, which was up from the balanced reading tallied in the previous month and represented the highest reading since August 2011.