Japan’s goods exports saw sharper growth in January as they continued to recover from a coronavirus-triggered global slump, driven by brisk demand in China and other Asian countries, government data showed Wednesday.
Exports in the reporting month rose 6.4% from a year earlier to ¥5.78 trillion, up for the second straight month, with shipments of items including chipmaking equipment to countries such as China and South Korea remaining at high levels, according to the preliminary data released by the Finance Ministry.
The pace of growth accelerated from 2.0% in December, when exports saw their first year-on-year increase in 25 months after Japanese firms had struggled with dampened overseas demand due to the pandemic as well as the spillover from U.S.-China trade tensions.
Exports to China grew 37.5% to ¥1.23 trillion in the reporting month, the biggest expansion since a 41.3% rise in April 2010 as they recovered from the global financial crisis. Shipments to Asia as a whole grew 19.4% to ¥3.37 trillion.
Imports of goods fell 9.5% to ¥6.10 trillion, down for the 21st month in a row, as prices of crude oil from producers such as the United Arab Emirates continued to drop. But the pace of decline was slightly slower than the 11.6% marked in the previous month.
The trade balance logged a deficit of ¥323.86 billion, the first red ink in seven months but shrinking 75.4% from a year ago.
The trade figures came two days after the government announced that Japan’s gross domestic product grew an annualized real 12.7% in the October-December period from the previous quarter.
Helped by strong exports, GDP expanded by a double-digit percentage for the second consecutive quarter following an annualized 22.7% leap in the previous three-month term. GDP had contracted an annualized 29.3% in the April-June period, the sharpest fall on record.
All figures were compiled on a customs-cleared basis.
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