The Strategist

Japan records a sharp increase in exports and imports

09/20/2017 - 09:26

Exports increased by 18.1% compared to the previous year, which is the biggest increase since November 2013. Experts forecast growth of 14.3%.

At the same time, imports grew by 15.2%, while the growth forecast for imports was 11.6%.

The surplus of Japan's trade balance amounted to 113.6 billion yen ($ 1.02 billion), raising the forecast for growth to $ 104.4 billion.

According to the Ministry of Finance, car supplies to the United States increased by 28.3%, although part of the total increase in shipments to the US could be explained by lower exports in the previous year. Deliveries of electronic components to Asia increased by 21.6%.

This year, Japan has achieved a significant increase in exports, while the growth in imports adds signs that domestic demand is also strengthening. The Japanese economy grew by 2.5% in annual terms in the II quarter, which is more than double its potential growth rate. But while the weaker yen improved trade data, inflation remains well below the Bank of Japan's 2% target.

Japan's adjusted trade balance showed a surplus of 367.3 billion yen, not meeting expectations of a growth forecast of up to 404.5 billion yen.

The export to China, which is Japan's largest trading partner, increased by 25.8% compared to the previous year. Deliveries to the US increased by 21.8%, in the EU - increased by 13.7%.

Earlier, Japan's GDP was revised downward, as the country's economy in the second quarter grew weaker than the government said in its preliminary assessment.

Gross domestic product increased by 2.5% year-on-year for the three months ended June 30, compared to a previously announced 4% growth and an average economist estimate of 2.9%.

The business expenses grew by 0.5% in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, the initial data indicated a 2.4% increase.

Private consumption increased by 0.8%, slightly changing from the initial growth rate of 0.9%.

Net exports affected the decline in GDP by 0.3 percentage points.

The decline in private investment was the biggest factor in revising growth in the second quarter in Japan. Data of the Ministry of Finance, which was used in the indicators, predicted that investment in the business will be much weaker than previously thought.

Nevertheless, Japan has maintained the sixth quarterly growth, the longest economic growth since 2006, and it seems that this trend will continue.

"It's hard to see that Japan is moving to domestic economic growth, but if external demand is not affected by any major downturns, the moderate pace of expansion should continue," said Atsushi Takeda, an economist at Itochu Corp. in Tokyo. "Regarding external demand, a strong yen is a key risk factor. "

As expected, lower rates of investment in business slowed growth, but the economy continued to grow faster than its potential - a clear positive for the Bank of Japan's reflux efforts, wrote an economist at Bloomberg Intelligence.

According to him, North Korea is the biggest risk for Japan. Further escalation of tension will exert greater pressure on the yen, the safe haven currency.