Japan’s Exports Post First Decline in Three Months During February
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
Exports out of Japan contracted at a greater than expected pace on the back of weakening demand from key trade partners, the US and China, during the month of February. According to data released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Japan’s exports declined by 4.5% YoY as shipments of automobiles, aircraft parts and motors to the US, spelling trouble for the world’s third largest economy.
Overall shipments to the US contracted by 14% YoY last month, a more severe decline than the 4.8% one seen in January, and continuing to decline for the fourth consecutive month. Meanwhile, Japan’s exports to China grew at 3.4% YoY during February, a far slower pace of growth than the 37.5% increase seen at the beginning of the year.
Overall exports to the EU from Japan fell by 3.3% while exports to Asia were down by 0.8%. This was the first contraction in exports since the past three months, especially after January saw exports increase by 6.4% YoY. In addition, the reading beat economists’ forecast, which was for a 0.8% decline instead.
Meanwhile, imports into Japan increased by 11.8% YoY during February, coming in line with economists’ expectations. This is the first rise in imports seen in 22 months and comes after a month of reduction by 9.5% seen in January.