Japanese trade figures for June 2016 have revealed a larger-than-expected surplus during the month.
Data from the country's Ministry of Finance has revealed a trade surplus of 692.8 billion yen (€5.93 billion) for June - higher than the expected 494.8 billion yen total and marking a pronounced shift from the 40.7 billion yen deficit recorded in May.
This was because the value of imports fell by 18.8 per cent compared to June 2015, compared to a 7.5 per cent drop in export values. Again, the scale of both these contractions was smaller than had been forecast.
In volume terms, exports increased by 2.9 per cent compared to the levels of a year earlier, representing the first such increase registered by the Japanese economy in four months. However, export prices have fallen 14 per cent in the same period, despite the recent strengthening of the yen against the US dollar.
Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said further difficulties may be experienced over the remainder of the year, noting: "We expect a one per cent drop in export volumes this year following a 3.4 per cent jump last year."