Japan: Trade remains healthy in March
April 21, 2017
Nominal exports in Japan valued in yen increased 12.0% from the same month last year in March, following February’s 11.3% increase. The print exceeded the 6.2% 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 15.8% annually in March, which followed February’s 1.2% increase. The print beat the 10.0% rise that the markets had expected. Higher prices for raw materials are pushing up imports.
As a result of the strong rise in imports, the trade surplus declined from JPY 745 billion in March 2016 to JPY 615 billion in March 2017 (USD 5.6 billion). In the 12 months up to March, the trade surplus inched down to JPY 4.0 trillion, which was lower than the JPY 4.1 trillion surplus recorded in the previous month.