Japan’s exports rise 7.8% in February - GulfToday

Japan’s exports rise 7.8% in February

Japan Exports

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Japan’s exports rose 7.8 per cent in February, as shipments continued to expand in cars and electrical machinery, according to government data released Thursday.

According to The Associated Press (AP), the nation’s trade deficit sank to ¥379 billion ($2.5 billion), marking the second straight month of a deficit.

Imports grew in food, medical products and computers, while declining in autos and power-generating machines. They inched up 0.5 per cent from the previous year, totalling nearly ¥9 trillion ($60 billion). The strength in exports comes 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 of how growth holds up.

By region, Japan’s exports to North America, Europe and the Middle East rose last month.

The picture for imports was mixed, gaining from places like India, China and Brazil, while slipping from Australia and staying little changed in many areas.

Meanwhile Japan’s core inflation accelerated in February but an index gauging the broader price trend slowed sharply, data showed, highlighting uncertainty on how soon the central bank will hike interest rates again.

While rising wages and the boost to import costs from renewed yen declines could underpin price growth, some analysts expect inflation to slow below the Bank of Japan’s 2 per cent target later this year as domestic demand remains tepid.

Markets are seeking clues on when the BOJ will next raise rates after its decision on Tuesday to exit its radical stimulus programme, making a historic shift away from a focus on reflating growth through aggressive monetary easing.

The core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes fresh foods but includes energy items, rose 2.8 per cent in February from a year earlier, government data showed, matching median market forecasts.


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