Japan experienced another month of poor international trade results in September 2016, with exports falling for the 12th consecutive month.
Official data from the Japanese Ministry of Finance showed that overseas sales fell 6.9 per cent in September from a year earlier, following a 9.6 per cent decline in August. Reduced US demand for cars, falling shipments of electronics parts to China and sluggish steel exports were responsible for this dip.
Meanwhile, imports fell by 16.3 per cent during the same period, resulting in a trade surplus of 498.3 billion yen (€4.39 billion). The poor trade performance seen over the last year has been attributed to the impact of a strong yen and slow global demand.
Nevertheless, the decline in exports was less than analysts had predicted, with the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecasting a 10.8 per cent decline, with a similar poll by Reuters anticipating a 10.4 per cent dip.
In terms of volume, meanwhile, exports rose 4.7 per cent in the year to September, which marks the fastest gain in nearly two years.
Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute, said: "It's a positive sign that export volume grew after having been more or less flat until recently."