Japan: Trade surplus hits an over-six-year high in April
May 23, 2016
In April, nominal exports valued in yen declined 10.1% over the same month last year, which followed the 6.8% decrease recorded in March. The fall was broadly in line with the 9.9% drop that market analysts had expected. A strong yen and tepid global demand, particularly from Asia, are weighing on Japan’s external sector.
Imports contracted 23.3% annually in April, which was down from March’s 14.9% drop. The print exceeded the 19.3% decrease that market analysts had expected and represented the lowest reading since October 2009. Imports continued to decline at double-digit rates due to lower energy prices and strengthening currency.
As a result, the trade balance recorded a JPY 823 billion surplus (USD 7.5 billion) in April. The reading contrasted the JPY 58.0 deficit tallied in the same month of the previous year and marked the strongest print since March 2010. In the 12 months up to April, the trade deficit was JPY 0.2 trillion, which was down from the JPY 1.1 trillion shortfall that was recorded in the previous month and represented the smallest deficit since September 2011.