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Japan March trade deficit jumps 300% to record $14.1 bn

Published time: April 21, 2014 11:17
Edited time: April 21, 2014 13:13
Reuters / Yuriko Nakao

Reuters / Yuriko Nakao

Japan’s trade deficit in March has quadrupled from a year ago, to $14.1 billion, the biggest ever monthly increase. A post – Fukushima boost in energy buying coupled with a spending spree ahead of the sales tax hike increased imports.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to weaken the yen have so far provided little help to exporters, who have performed worse than competitors in Korea and Taiwan, according to Junko Nishioka, chief Japan economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Tokyo talking to Bloomberg.

Imports in March jumped 18.1 percent year on year, while exports were up a modest 1.8 percent, according to Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

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The trade deficit will keep on widening “unless the government decides to restart nuclear power plants,” Bloomberg quotes Hiroaki Muto, a senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.“Japan’s trade deficits may continue for at least three years,” she added.

Japanese companies' rush to buy goods overseas before the sales tax went up on April 1 could have been another strong drag on Japan’s trade balance, says Hiroaki Muto.

The sales tax was increased for the first time since 1997 from 5 to 8 percent, and is aimed at combating deflation and tackling the country’s $10 trillion public debt. The tax rise could increase government revenue by about $48.4 billion this year.

Comments (7)


Oz 21.04.2014 18:55

@ケージ 21.04.2014 13:43
The last ime the Japanese began rapidly expanding their military capabilities it ended with the attack on Pearl Harbour!
I think we all know where that ended.
Well, unless you're Japanese, because then they kind of 'hide' the reality from you .. don't they. You remember those 'minor' events... like the rape of Nanching, and the Korean 'comfort' women, the treatment of POW's etc etc etc.....
Perhaps if Japan took ownership of these previous events (like the Germans) we wouldn't be so worried!


DoAskDoTell 21.04.2014 14:04

Cut out the middleman the Fed/Dollar Debt; stop buying the US IOUs Treasury Notes... hemorrhages...

Start trading with Russia directly for oil, gas to start with


ケージ 21.04.2014 13:43

Marcel Cheung 21.04.2014 11:57

Abenomic is going to an end. Stop japanese aggression to the world!


Mr. Cheung, I think the economics are not that simple as you say Abenomics is going to an end. Beside, in the same way, there is no specific statistics which indicates that Japan is "aggressive&quo t; to the world. Don't you know that what country has been dramatically expanding their military budget in this couple of decades in reality? Not be a troll, please have proper literacy and objective perspectives based on facts and evidences.

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