Japan has seen its recent trade recovery continue during January 2018, with imports and exports both seeing strong growth.
The value of Japan's exports rose 12.2 per cent in January from a year earlier, beating estimates of economists polled by Bloomberg of a 9.4 per cent rise. Imports, meanwhile, grew 7.9 per cent, slightly exceeding the 7.7 per cent forecast.
This resulted in an overall trade deficit of 943.4 billion yen (€7.13 billion) for the month, which was slightly lower than the predicted one trillion yen deficit.
Recent trade trends have resulted in the Japanese economy enjoying its longest period of expansion in nearly 30 years, with experts indicating that this is likely to persist.
Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, said: "An increase in imports shows that domestic demand is healthy. We should focus more on export trends rather than the trade balance to get an idea of economic growth, and in that sense Japan's doing well."
Meanwhile, Masaki Kuwahara, senior economist at Nomura Securities, noted that trade deficits are common in January, while predicting that this would be a temporary trend.