In April, sales increased by 7.5 percent from a year earlier to JPY 6,329.2 billion, compared to a 12.0 percent gain in a month earlier while market expected a 7.8 percent rise. It was the fifth straight month of increase, as sales of machinery grew 11.3 percent, boosted by power generating machine (16.4 percent) and semicon machinery (29.9 percent). Also, exports of chemicals rose 10.8 percent; and those of manufactured goods went up 7.1 percent, led by iron and steel products (18.1 percent). Exports of electrical machinery advanced 6.7 percent, due to higher sales of semiconductors (11.1 percent) and electrical apparatus (14 percent). In addition, exports of transport equipment went up 1.3 percent, as sales of motor vehicles rose 1.8 percent.
Among major trading partners, exports rose to China (14.8 percent), the US (2.6 percent), the EU (2.2 percent), South Korea (22.3 percent), Taiwan (14.7 percent), Hong Kong (3.2 percent) and Thailand (8.4 percent).
Imports jumped 15.1 percent to JPY 5,847.4 billion, following a 15.8 percent rise in the prior month and faster than estimates of a 14.8 percent growth. Purchases rose for all categories: Mineral fuels (58.7 percent); foodstuff (6.6 percent); raw materials (13.2 percent); chemicals (3.7 percent); manufactured goods (8.0 percent); machinery (5.3 percent), electrical machinery (16.0 percent), transport equipment (1.6 percent) and others (1.7 percent).
Among major trading partners, imports rose from China (7.5 percent), the US (9.8 percent), the EU (5.4 percent), South Korea (16.8 percent) and Taiwan (4.4 percent).