Ja­pan logs Oc­to­ber trade sur­plus

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

JA­PAN saw its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive trade sur­plus in Oc­to­ber, of­fi­cial data showed yes­ter­day, though it came in below ex­pec­ta­tions as a strong yen dented ex­ports.

While the yen has tum­bled in Novem­ber on the back of Don­ald Trump’s US elec­tion win, it was up al­most 15 per­cent on-year against the dol­lar last month, which the fi­nance min­istry said hit ex­port val­ues for key prod­ucts such as ve­hi­cles and steel. How­ever, the weak reading was off­set by a fall in im­ports, with crude oil and liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas down sig­nif­i­cantly.

The coun­try posted a sur­plus of 496.2 bil­lion yen (US$4.47 bil­lion), smaller than the 610 bil­lion yen forecast in a sur­vey.

“Even though the drag from the stronger yen has started to fade, the an­nual growth rate of both ex­port and im­port val­ues fell deeper into the red last month,” Mar­cel Thieliant, se­nior Ja­pan econ­o­mist at Cap­i­tal Eco­nomics, said in a note.

An­a­lysts said Ja­pan’s ex­ports are ex­pected to give a boost to eco­nomic growth in Oc­to­ber-De­cem­ber be­cause of the sharply weaker yen.

Traders are shift­ing out of the yen and into the dol­lar on ex­pec­ta­tions Mr Trump’s plans to ramp up in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing and cut taxes will fan in­fla­tion, which will in turn force the Fed­eral Re­serve to lift in­ter­est rates.

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