Japan: Trade surplus continues to widen in March
April 20, 2016
In March, nominal exports valued in yen declined 6.8% over the same month last year, which followed the 4.0% decrease recorded in February. The fall was better than the 7.1% drop that market analysts had expected. Soft global demand, particularly from Asia, and a strong yen continue to weight on Japan’s exports.
Imports contracted 14.9% annually in March. The print was broadly unchanged from the 14.2% drop tallied in February and was better than the 16.5% decrease that market analysts had expected. Imports continued to decline at double-digit rates due to lower energy prices.
As a result, the trade balance recorded a JPY 755 billion surplus (USD 6.9 billion) in March. The reading exceeded the 223 surplus tallied in the same month of the previous year and marked the strongest print since October 2010. In the 12 months up to March, the trade deficit was JPY 1.1 trillion, which was down from the JPY 1.6 trillion shortfall that was recorded in the previous month and represented the smallest deficit since October 2011.