Japan’s trade deficit shrinks as exports rise 9.8pc

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 March, 2014, 11:15am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 March, 2014, 11:15am

Japan’s exports rose 9.8 per cent last month from a year earlier as shipments recovered from a Lunar New Year slowdown, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday.

The rise in exports fell short of a 12.4 per cent gain expected by economists in a Reuters poll, and was led by brisk shipments of cars. It followed a 9.5 per cent year-on-year increase in January.

Imports grew 9 per cent in the year to February, surpassing the 7.4 per cent gain expected but well below the revised 25.1 per cent rise in the previous month.

The country’s posted a trade deficit of 800.3 billion yen (HK$61.2 billion), higher than the 590 billion yen deficit expected but well below January’s record trade gap of 2.79 trillion yen.

Japan has now posted a record 20 months of trade deficits.