Japan’s export growth improves in November

| December 22, 2010 | 0 Comments
Japan's export growth improves in November

Government data has today revealed Japanese exports picked up in November - for the first time since February.

Exports grew 9.1% to 5.44 trillion yen in November on an annual basis, against the 7.8% reported in October.

However, the figure was still short of expectations for a 10.8% gain.

The improvement was attributed to strong overseas demand, particularly for Japanese steel and metal working machinery, according to the finance ministry.

Meanwhile, Japanese imports surged 14.2% on the month to 5.28 trillion yen - fuelled by demand for iron ore as well as audio and visual devices.

As a result, the growth in imports took the country’s trade surplus to 162.8 billion yen - 55.4% less than a year ago.

Analysts highlight that demand for exports continue to weaken, due to a stronger yen.

This has fuelled concern for the world’s third largest economy as exports are a crucial driver for economic growth and helped bring the economy out of recession much sooner than its counterparts throughout the world.

The figures come just a day after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) left interest rates at almost zero, in a bid to boost the economy and continue its battle against deflation.

Official figures show Japanese core consumer prices fell 0.6% in October compared with a year ago – representing the 20th consecutive monthly decline that the economy has been in deflation.

A short period of deflation (where prices fall rather than increase) could be a serious threat to the economy because it deters consumers and businesses from spending in expectation of falling prices.

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