Japan's Exports Rise Nearly 8% In February On Strong Shipments Of Cars And Machinery

Japan's Exports Rise Nearly 8% In February On Strong Shipments Of Cars And Machinery

The report showed the trade deficit sank by more than half on-year to 379 billion yen (USD 2.5 billion), marking the second straight month of a deficit.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 01:14 PM IST
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Representative Image | Image by Gerd Altmann

 Japan's exports rose 7.8 per cent in February from a year earlier on strong shipments of cars and electrical machinery, the government said on Thursday.

Exports in February totaled 8.2 trillion yen (USD 55 billion), marking the third straight month of growth, according to preliminary customs data.

The report showed the trade deficit sank by more than half on-year to 379 billion yen (USD 2.5 billion), marking the second straight month of a deficit.

Exports to China rose just 2.5 per cent and those to all of Asia edged 2.3 per cent higher on-year, suggesting that demand has moderated. Exports to the United States rose 18 per cent and exports to the EU were up almost 16 per cent.

The picture for imports was mixed, with China supplying 1.7 trillion yen (USD 236 billion), a nearly 17 per cent annual increase that more than doubled Japan's deficit with its giant neighbour.

In all, imports edged up 0.5 per cent, totalling nearly 9 trillion yen (USD 60 billion), as prices for key commodities such as coal and liquefied natural gas fell.

Bank of Japan Raises Interest

The strength in exports come as good news, coming a day after the Bank of Japan raised its key interest rate for the first time in 17 years, no longer setting it at below zero. The central bank has promised to still keep lending easy as it gauges various signs for how growth holds up.

One positive recently is a solid rebound in tourism, which counts statistically as exports, with recent data showing that visitor numbers have exceeded those before the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan restricted entry into the country during the pandemic.

Exports have remained relatively strong even as Japan's economy has slowed, hitting a record high of just over 100 trillion yen (USD 670 billion) in 2023.

Japan is now the world's fourth largest economy, behind Germany. 

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