Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Energy News .

Japan May trade deficit widens on import costs
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 19, 2013

Japan extended a string of trade deficits in May, official data showed Wednesday, as the country's import costs rose on the weak yen but shipments to the United States and China soared.

The strong export data -- up 10.1 percent over last year -- comes after earlier figures showed the world's third-largest economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe works to stoke growth.

The yen's sharp drop since late last year makes Japanese exporters more competitive overseas and inflates the value of their repatriated overseas earnings.

The trade data is a key signal for economists who have been trying to pin down whether "Abenomics" -- a program of big government spending and aggressive monetary easing -- is rippling through the economy.

"This (export data) shows Japanese companies are increasingly in better shape" Junko Nishioka, chief economist at RBS Securities Japan, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Their profitability is also rising these days, meaning they are becoming more resilient to potential external shocks."

The finance ministry data Wednesday showed Japan's trade deficit expanded 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 993.9 billion yen ($10.4 billion), the eleventh consecutive shortfall and the longest string of monthly deficits in three decades.

But May's deficit was smaller than expected as the market had forecast a shortfall of around 1.2 trillion yen.

Exports rose 10.1 percent to 5.76 trillion yen, growing for the third straight month on higher shipments to the United States and China. Exports to recession-hit Europe remained weak, falling 4.9 percent.

Imports meanwhile also climbed 10.0 percent, the seventh consecutive month of increases, as costs of fuel and other items jumped due to the weaker yen.

The jury is still out on Japan's economy-boosting plan although export volumes are moving in the right direction, said Masahiko Hashimoto, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research.

"Export volumes, which we should look at for a link with the economy, were lower than the year-before level but the margin of decline is shrinking... that is a good sign."

A return to trade surplus, however, could be some way off, he added.

"It will be quite difficult to return to surplus," Hashimoto said. "Import volumes will stay high due to fuel demand. That situation would not change drastically unless nuclear power plants resume operations."

Japan's fuel imports have soared as most of its atomic reactors remain off-line since the huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011 sparked the world's worst nuclear accident in a generation.

The disaster knocked Japan's already lumbering economy, which Abe pledged to kickstart as he swept December elections.

In April, new leadership at the Bank of Japan -- handpicked by Abe -- vowed to hit a two-percent inflation target within two years, jack up asset purchases including government bonds, and double money supply.

The ambitious target, a key part of Abe's bid to revive the economy, is aimed at reversing years of falling prices that have crimped private spending and business investment.

Last week, the BoJ said the economy was "picking up" as it held off ramping up April's huge stimulus scheme, part of a wider plan that includes structural reforms to the economy.


Related Links
Global Trade News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

China firm forays into British yacht, hotel markets
Beijing (AFP) June 19, 2013
Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group announced Wednesday it will invest nearly $1.6 billion to acquire British yacht maker Sunseeker and build London's tallest residential towers. The plans mark the latest foray by Chinese investors into the West's luxury market at a time when Europe is grappling with a debt crisis. "This is further significant progress in the internationalisation of Wanda G ... read more

China launches first carbon trading scheme

India's Energy Ties with Iran Unsettle Washington

China launches its first carbon trading scheme: report

China is outsourcing carbon within its own borders

Printing Tiny Batteries

Autonomous energy-scavenging micro devices will test water quality, monitor bridges, more

International first with the energy consumer of the future

Persian Gulf states 'unable to protect themselves'

New certified small wind turbine announced for US market

Britain rolls out offshore wind power investment stimulation plan

Prysmian Group To Showcase At 2013 RenewableUK Offshore Wind In Manchester

Quantum To Buy 10 Megawatt Trout Creek Wind Farm

Polymer-coated catalyst protects "artificial leaf"

Dynamic Energy and Stone Quest Complete New Jersey Solar Project

Talesun Solar Awarded UL 1000V Module Certification

Future looks bright for carbon nanotube solar cells

Poland may delay launch of nuclear plants: PM

Toxic radiation in groundwater at Fukushima: operator

Japan PM promotes nuclear exports at central Europe summit

Japan PM to tout nuclear exports at central Europe summit

US forest management policy must evolve to meet bioenergy targets

Black locust showing promise for biomass potential

Researchers unearth bioenergy potential in leaf-cutter ant communities

Wood not so green a biofuel

Half-Time for Shenzhou 10

China's Naughty Space Models

China's space dream crystallized with Shenzhou-10 launch

China astronauts enter space module

World Bank warns global warming woes closing in

Two thirds of Chile faces desertification: president

UN climate talks: No consensus on... well, consensus

Mixed-bag climate conference draws to a close in Bonn

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement