Japan trade surplus leaps on strong exports to rest of Asia | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Japan trade surplus leaps on strong exports to rest of Asia

October 18, 2017 - 8:02 PM

TOKYO - Japan reports its trade surplus leaped nearly 38 per cent in September from a year earlier, on strong shipments of cars, car parts and machinery to China and the U.S.

Customs data released Thursday showed exports rose 14 per cent year-on-year to 6.8 trillion yen ($60.3 billion) while imports climbed 12 per cent to 6.1 trillion yen ($54.3 billion).

Exports to China surged 29 per cent in value, while exports to the U.S. were up 11 per cent.

Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. climbed 5 per cent from a year earlier to 616.6 billion yen ($5.5 billion). The perennial surplus is a sore point with U.S. President Donald Trump, who is due to visit Japan early next month ahead of annual regional summits in Asia.

The 670.2 billion yen ($5.9 billion) overall surplus compared with a 486.6 billion yen surplus in September 2016. The surplus was dented, however, by rising costs for imports of coal, natural gas and petroleum.

The recovery in overseas demand has been a key factor supporting growth in the world's third largest economy. The volume of exports in August was the highest since before the 2008 global financial crisis, and surveys of manufacturers suggest that net trade is driving growth, Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

"However, we are forecasting a slowdown in overseas GDP growth next year so exports should grow less rapidly," Thieliant said. "We expect export growth to slow from 6 per cent this year to 3.5 per cent next year."

China's economy has performed better than anticipated this year, helping support demand for imports from across the region. But regulators are trying to cool growth to stem a worrisome buildup in debt, and growth is likely to slip from the 6.8 per cent annual pace in the July-September quarter.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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