Los Angeles, CA – A weak yen and lower oil prices combined to boost Japan’s export volume and cut the country’s massive energy bill, narrowly reducing Japan’s trade deficit in October.
The development was a bright spot among otherwise gloomy data, including recent GDP figures that showed the country – the world’s number-three economy – had slipped into recession.
Japanese exports, led by mainly autos and steel, jumped nearly 10 percent last month with imports climbing by a modest 2.7 percent.
All in all, the new activity translated into a monthly trade deficit of $6 billion.
According to the new figures, the value of shipments to China rose 7.2 percent, while exports to North America climbed 8.5 percent and those to the European Union were up 5.4 percent.
The October boost in exports, say analysts, could be a flash-in-the-pan as Japan is facing tepid growth in the European Union and an overall slowdown in China’s economy, both key export markets.
Last week, the government released figures showing that Japan’s gross domestic product figures contracted 0.4 percent for the second straight quarter after suffering a 1.9 percent contraction in the previous three months.