Japan: Trade balance swings to deficit in July
August 16, 2018
Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports increased 3.9% annually in July, decelerating from June’s 6.7% expansion and undershooting market expectations of a 6.3% increase. Weaker export growth in July came on the back of lower shipments to the United States.
Import growth, however, accelerated in July to a rise of 14.6% on an annual basis, well above the 2.6% rise recorded in June and broadly in line with market expectations. July’s sharp increase reflected strong crude oil imports.
The merchandise trade balance swung to a JPY 0.2 trillion deficit in July from a JPY 0.7 trillion surplus in June due to a sharp acceleration in import growth. Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade surplus fell to JPY 1.9 trillion in July from JPY 2.5 trillion in June.