Japan’s trade flows started the fourth quarter on a down note as imports rose nearly 20 per cent from a year ago, easily outpacing exports and expanding the country’s trade deficit far more than expected.
Imports rose 19.9 per cent year on year in October, according to preliminary data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance, close to triple September’s growth of 7 per cent and easily besting a median forecast of 14.5 per cent from economists polled by Reuters.
That growth in inbound shipments also outpaced an 8.2 per cent rise in exports, which marked a return to growth after falling 1.2 per cent a month prior for the first time in nearly two years.
Exports to Asia rose 7.3 per cent with those to China up 9 per cent versus a dip of 1.7 per cent in September. Shipments to the US bounced back from a 0.2 per cent fall a month ago to rise 11.6 per cent in October, while those to Western Europe rose 5.7 per cent, recovering from the previous month’s 9.4 per cent drop.
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