Japan Real Time Charts and Data

Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Japan related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Japan data charts with short updates on a Storify dedicated page Is Japan Once More Back in Deflation?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Japanese Trade

Japan's long term economic surplus continues to weaken, it is down by 11.9% year on year. Of course the main culprit is the rising cost of oil imports (on which Japan is heavily dependent). Exports rose 18.1 percent, but imports rose 25.2 percent to a record 5.8414 trillion yen, continuing a string of double-digit rises since April 2005.It is this part of the process we need to watch, as any global slowdown will affect exports, and thus raise issues about the sustainability of internal demand and the growing import dependence. The 34% jump in exports to China should also draw attention to the way in which Japan is benefiting from Chinese growth, and serve to put Japan's own performance in somewhat better perspective.

The trade surplus fell 11.9 percent in March from the same month a year earlier to 978.1 billion yen ($8.34 billion), Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday. Still, the surplus exceeded the median market forecast by 35 percent.

Exports rose 18.1 percent from a year earlier, marking the fifth consecutive month of double-digit rises, to a record 6.8195 trillion yen, helped by vehicle shipments to the United States.

Overall, U.S.-bound exports rose 16.4 percent compared with a year earlier, while exports to China, Japan’s biggest trading partner, jumped 32.4 percent on higher shipments of automobile parts and semiconductor products.