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Japan Trade March 2019

Japan: Trade surplus declines in March on strong imports

Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 2.4% year-on-year in March, following the 1.2% decrease in February. The contraction was smaller than the 2.7% drop that market analysts had expected. The contraction mostly reflected weak global demand, especially from China.

Meanwhile, imports expanded 1.1% in annual terms in March, contrasting the 6.6% decline in February. The result came in below the 2.6% increase expected by market analysts.

As a result of the sharp rebound in imports, the merchandise trade surplus fell from JPY 0.8 trillion in March 2018 to JPY 0.5 trillion in March 2019 (February 2019: JPY 0.3 trillion surplus). Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit rose from JPY 1.3 trillion in February to JPY 1.6 trillion in March.

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