Japanese shipments abroad have fallen considerably, the government has said in its latest report on trade activity in the world’s third-largest economy. The strong national currency remains a headache.
Japan’s shipments abroad dropped by 14 percent in July year on year, the Finance Ministry reported Thursday.
The Asian country exported goods worth 5.7 trillion yen ($57 billion, 50 billion euros), marking the 10th consecutive month of decrease and the largest decline since October 2009.
The fresh figures are bad news Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose government has been struggling to reinvigorate the faltering domestic economy.
Exports to Japan’s most important trading partner, China, fell by 12.7 percent; shipments to the US were down 11.8 percent, while exports to the European Union decreased by 6.5 percent in July from a year earlier.
Japan’s overall imports dipped by 24.7 percent in the same month due to weak domestic consumption and despite the nation taking in more petroleum and liquefied natural gas for power generation.
The trade figures followed a report Monday that Japan’s economy had barely grown with an annualized rate of just 0.2 percent in the April-to-June quarter.
Analysts said they expected corporate investment to fall further as the yen’s sharp rise kept eroding the revenues of exporters. The yen has surged approximately 17 percent against the greenback since the start of the year.
hg/jd/ (dpa, AFP)