Related News

Home » Business » Economy

Japanese export figures give hope worst is over

JAPAN'S export slump eased in April, adding to growing evidence that the recession is loosening its grip on the world's second-biggest economy.

Exports in April fell 39.1 percent from a year earlier, less than the 45.6 percent decline posted in March, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The export drop moderated across all major regions and sectors.

The result led to an unexpected trade surplus of 68.95 billion yen (US$725.8 million)? Japan's third straight month in the black. Starting late last year, Japan posted several trade deficits, where imports exceed exports? and economists had been predicting another deficit in April.

"Today's release supports our view that exports are past the worst," said Chiwoong Lee, an economist at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo.

A rebound in overseas shipments is critical to reviving Japan as well as the rest of Asia. The country, which had relied heavily on foreign sales of its cars and gadgets to drive growth, is in its steepest recession since World War II amid an unprecedented collapse in global demand.

Japan's economy shrank at a record 15.2 percent annual pace in the first quarter. Last year, it posted its first annual trade deficit in 28 years.

But officials and economists are hopeful the economy will grow in the April-June period as the government's stimulus takes root and companies boost production.

Industrial production turned positive in March after tumbling sharply for several months, and a recent Cabinet Office survey showed business confidence is climbing.

Last week, Japan's central bank upgraded its economic assessment, taking a cautiously upbeat stance that recession may be slowing. It said the economy was still deteriorating, but exports and production are beginning to level out.

Previous assessments said the economy had been deteriorating significantly.

Japan's exports to the United States fell 46.3 percent year on year in April.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend