Japan's international trade figures saw a continuation of their recent positive momentum during April 2017, according to the latest official data.
A Ministry of Finance report showed that the value of Japan's exports rose by 7.5 per cent year on year in April. This was less than the eight per cent growth estimate given by economists surveyed by Bloomberg, and down from the 12 per cent rise seen in March, but nevertheless represented a fifth consecutive month of growth.
Meanwhile, imports rose by 15.1 per cent year over year - again, less than the 15.8 per cent March increase, but coming in above experts' estimates of a 14.8 per cent rise.
Rising global demand was the main factor behind the sustained improvements, with Chinese exports seeing particularly strong growth. Shipments to China - Japan's largest trading partner - climbed 14.8 per cent to 1.19 trillion yen (€9.51 billion), marking a new record for the month of April.
Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist for Capital Economics, said: "Our export-weighted measure of GDP in Japan's major trading partners recorded the strongest growth in more than two years last quarter, and we expect external demand to remain strong in the coming months."