Increasing global demand has seen Japan’s exports rise for what is expected to be the 17th month running to April this year.
With final performance to be confirmed, initial data suggests that exports grew over 8% last month compared to April 2017 and a 2% increase compared to March.
Trade surplus, as a result, reached $3.66bn. However, the overall size of Japan’s economy shrank an annualised 0.6% between January and March, its first dip in nearly a decade, primarily as a result of decreasing investment and consumption.
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Takeshi Minami, chief economist at the Norinchukin Research Institute noted that: “Although exports for January-March slowed down, there is no doubt that the global economy is on a moderate recovery path and export volumes were maintained.
“Domestic demand including consumer spending likely started picking up from April, so both exports and imports are expected to recover.”
Despite strong growth over the last year and a half, there are some roadblocks to continued success for the Japan economy in the short-term, including potential global fallout as a result of trade frictions between China and the U.S.
However, Tokyo’s CPI index is also showing signs of small growth, around 0.6% compared to last year.
An analyst at Nikko Securities said that: “Price gains in oil-related products likely contributed to the core CPI index.
“It will be some time before we see the wage increase from the annual spring wage negotiations this year supporting price rises.”