Japan created another trade deficit in September, versus forecasts for a gain, as exports faltered.
The trade gap was Y114.5bn, against expectations for a Y87bn surplus. This is the sixth monthly deficit in a row.
Exports underwhelmed, rising just 0.6 per cent from a year ago, versus expectations for a 3.8 per cent gain.
Imports retreated by 11.1 per cent, a deeper loss than a -3.1 per cent pace in August but slightly better than forecasts for a -12 per cent decline.
Falling imports and wobbly exports indicate the economy continued to struggle at the end of the third quarter, reinforcing forecasts that the economy may have fallen into another recession.
The figures are likely to increase calls for further stimulus from the Bank of Japan, though officials haven’t offered any clues that such a move is at all likely.
Details from the report show exports to the US and EU were up 10.4 per cent and 5.1 per cent from a year ago, respectively, but exports to Asia fell by 0.9 per cent, including a 3.5 per cent decline to China.
“The lift from the cheap yen is fading, while struggling Chinese demand has proved a significant regional drag,” said Moody’s Analytics before the release. “The import bill will continue increasing in September because of the weaker yen and stabilising oil prices.”
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