Japan Exports Soar to Record in Dec; China Shipments Make Long-Awaited Rebound
13:50 JST, January 24, 2024
TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s exports surged to record highs in December, with shipments to the U.S. soaring to their strongest-ever level while those to China were also robust, logging their first rise in more than a year.
The better-than-expected data comes at a time of heightened concern about a faltering economic recovery in China and its potential to drag on the global economy.
Exports from the world’s third-largest economy climbed 9.8% to 9.65 trillion yen ($65.1 billion) last month from the same period a year earlier, finance ministry data showed on Wednesday.
That beat a consensus estimate of 9.1% from economists in a Reuters poll and followed a 0.2% contraction in November.
Economists said, however, that it was unclear whether Japan’s lackluster economy – which has seen factory activity shrink for eight straight months – could bank on a sustainable boost from a recovery in exports.
“Exports were strong but it might only be a bounceback after the fall in November. The pace of economic growth in the U.S. and Europe seems to be slowing a bit and China has only just bottomed out so any recovery in exports is likely to be a weak one,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.
Exports to China – Japan’s biggest trading partner – climbed 9.6% to 1.77 trillion yen ($12 billion) in December, the second-largest amount on record. Shipments of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and cars led the expansion but exports of chip and other electronic components tumbled 22%.
Exports to the United States surged 20.4%, marking 27 consecutive months of growth. Shipments of cars and auto parts as well as construction and mining equipment propelled the increase.
Japan’s imports fell 6.8% in December, more than the median estimate for a 5.3% decrease. That helped the trade balance come to a surplus of 62.1 billion yen, trumping the median estimate for a 122.1 billion yen deficit.
For the whole of 2023, Japan logged a trade deficit of 9.29 trillion yen, marking three consecutive years of deficit but shrinking by 54.3% compared to the previous year.
"News Services" POPULAR ARTICLE
At Japan Airlines, Bankruptcy Helped Lay Groundwork for First Female Boss
Taylor Swift Launches Legal Broadside at a College Student Who Tracks Private Jets Via Public Data
Unofficial Indonesia Election Vote Count Points to First Round Prabowo Win
North Korea Scraps All Economic Cooperation with South Korea
Special Counsel: Biden ‘Willfully’ Disclosed Classified Materials, But No Criminal Charges Warranted
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Japan Eyes 45 B. Yen in Aid for Optical Semiconductors
- Business, Labor Leaders Reaffirm Vow to Raise Wages in Shunto Talks
- Japan Real Wages Fall at Steepest Pace in 9 Years in 2023
- Japan’s Job Availability Ratio Rises for 2nd Straight Year
- Pressure Mounting for Wage Increases in Shunto Negotiations; Fears about the Response of Struggling SMEs