Imports to Japan rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier to JPY 7.08 trilllion in December 2018, missing market expectations of a 3.7 percent growth and far slower than a 12.5 percent increase in November. Purchases rose for: mineral fuels (8.7 percent); scientific, optical instruments (9.5 percent); machinery (6 percent); chemicals (8.2 percent); manufactured goods (2.7 percent); and aircraft (94.4 percent). In contrast, imports of electrical machinery fell 10.8 percent. Among major trading partners, import increases were recorded from the US (23.9 percent), Australia (7.9 percent), the EU (2 percent) and the Middle East (9.2 percent). By contrast, imports from Asia fell 2.9 percent mainly due to lower purchases from China (-6.4 percent). In 2018, import growth slowed to 9.7 percent from 14.1 percent in 2017. Imports in Japan averaged 2985.97 JPY Billion from 1963 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 8047.03 JPY Billion in January of 2014 and a record low of 162.06 JPY Billion in January of 1963.
Imports in Japan is expected to be 7410.00 JPY Billion by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Imports in Japan to stand at 5900.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Japan Imports is projected to trend around 6040.00 JPY Billion in 2020, according to our econometric models.