Japan Reports Trade Deficit in March


Japan swung back into a trade deficit in March as a steady rise in energy imports outweighed a rebound in automobile exports after last year's flooding in Thailand.

Japan unexpectedly posted a ¥23.9 billion surplus in February after four months in the red. In March 2011, the country recorded a ¥170.9 billion surplus.

Japan's exports rose in March, boosted by a surge in shipments of cars as the sector continues to recover from last year's natural disasters.

Car exports rose 33.6% from a year earlier, with overall exports up by 5.9%, latest trade data showed.

The currency fell more than 8% against the US dollar between February and March this year, making Japanese goods more affordable to foreign buyers.
Growing imports

Japanese imports rose by 10.5% in March, resulting in a trade deficit of 82.6bn yen ($1bn; £632m) during the month.

The jump was driven largely by a 21.8% increase in imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).


TradingEconomics.com, Ministry of Finance Japan
4/19/2012 11:32:08 AM