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Economy in Brief

Japan’s Exports Continue to Outpace Imports
by Robert Brusca December 12, 2007

Japans exports and imports each show generally declining trends. Imports are up by just 4.4% year/year while exports are advancing at a pace of 11.4%. Japan’s services deficit is shrinking. Its good surplus and current account surplus are each widening. The current account surplus is widening in both dollar and yen terms (see table).

Recent macroeconomic data make it clear that Japan’s economy is slowing. This is reflected in the import slowing that is in progress. Japan’s imports fell by a sharp 6.3% in August then by 0.1% in September before rebounding with a rise of 0.8% in October. Import weakness is likely a reflection of the weakness in domestic demand.

Japan Current Account Trends
  In period level of % change Average in period/or % change
  Oct-07 Sep-07 Aug-07 3-Mo 6-Mo 12-Mo 12-Mo Prev
Current Account in $, Millions $ 22,135 $ 19,489 $ 18,789 $ 20,138 $ 18,303 $ 17,425 $ 14,049
In Yen, 100 Millions
Overall Balance 25,648 22,420 21,932 23,333 21,680 20,641 16,375
Services Balance (365) (1,546) (2,286) (1,399) (1,790) (1,929) (1,789)
Balance on Goods 13,141 10,704 14,404 12,750 10,877 10,651 7,471
  % m/m % SAAR
Export Goods % 4.4% -5.4% 3.4% 8.1% 16.0% 11.8% 24.4%
Import Goods % 0.8% -0.1% -6.3% -18.8% 10.9% 4.4% 16.4%
Prices in %, SAAR
Export Prices 0.8% -0.7% -3.2% -16.7% -1.5% -0.1% 4.7%
Import Prices 4.4% -1.4% -2.5% -2.1% 11.1% 7.5% 20.5%
Memo: Yen/$, AVG, Level 115.87 115.04 116.73 115.88 118.75 118.69 116.54
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