Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of 1,312.6 billion yen in January, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday.
That beat estimates for a shortfall of 1,684.8 billion yen following the 154.6 billion yen deficit in December.
Exports were down 2.6 percent on year, beating expectations for a decline of 7.0 percent following the 6.3 percent drop in the previous month.
Imports slid 3.6 percent on year versus expectations for a fall of 2.0 percent after sinking 4.9 percent a month earlier.
The adjusted trade deficit was 224.1 billion yen, beating expectations for a shortfall of 550.3 billion yen following the 107.2 billion yen deficit in December.
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