Japan logs first trade deficit in four months in May

Japan logs first trade deficit in four months in May

The trade surplus is pegged at 43.3 billion yen, down from 481.7 billion yen a month earlier.

Exports to all of Asia were up 16.8% on year to 3.234 trillion yen, while exports to China alone advanced an annual 23.9% to 1.117 trillion yen. In April, Japan’s trade surplus with the United States fell an annual 4.2 percent.

Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S.in May rose 19.0% to Y411.1 billion, rising for the first time in three months.

The Japanese yen traded lower after the release, with the USA dollar gaining 0.2% to ¥110.92.

Exports rose 14.9 percent from a year earlier (estimate +16 percent), according to data released by the Ministry of Finance.

Excluding oil imports, the data showed increasing demand for chemicals, electronic parts and raw materials used in Japanese factories.

Japan’s trade deficit in May stood at 203.37 billion yen (1.8 billion US dollars), marking the first shortfall in four months, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report on Monday.

Consumption has been a soft spot in Japan’s otherwise strengthening economy, with its weakness blamed for keeping inflation subdued by discouraging companies from raising prices, leaving growth heavily reliant on exports. In the first three months of 2017, the economy grew an annualized 1.0%, to extend Japan’s growth streak to the longest in 11 years.