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Japan: Trade deficit continues to widen on faltering exports

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Staff Writer |
Asia   The decline reflected weaker shipments to China

Nominal yen-denominated merchandise exports fell 8.4% year-on-year in January, following the 3.9% decrease in December.

The contraction was larger than the 5.5% drop that market analysts had expected and represented the sharpest decline since October 2016.

The decline reflected weaker shipments to China.

Meanwhile, imports contracted 0.6% in annual terms in January, contrasting the 1.9% expansion in December.

The decline was smaller than the 2.8% decrease expected by market analysts.

As a result of the sharp contraction in exports, the merchandise trade deficit fell from JPY 0.9 trillion in January 2018 to JPY 1.4 trillion in January 2019 (December 2018: JPY 0.1 trillion deficit).

Meanwhile, the 12-month trailing trade deficit fell from JPY 1.2 trillion in December to JPY 1.7 trillion deficit in December, marking the worst result in three years.

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