Japan posts trade deficit for 15th consecutive month

Yen and US dollar notes Recent aggressive stimulus moves by the Japanese policymakers have weakened the yen

Related Stories

Japan has posted a trade deficit for the 15th month in a row in September as a weak yen pushed up import costs.

The deficit for the month rose to 932bn yen ($9.5bn; £5.8bn), up 64% from a year ago, as imports rose 16.5%.

A series of aggressive measures aimed at reviving Japan's economy has resulted in the yen falling nearly 25% against the US dollar since November.

While that has helped Japan's exports by making them cheaper, it has also made imports more expensive.

However, the growth in exports has not been sufficient enough to offset the higher import bill.

Data released by the Ministry of Finance showed that exports rose 11.5% in September, from a year earlier.

Japan's imports have grown at a faster rate than its exports in all but one of the past 11 months.

Analysts said that imports have been rising over these months partly due to higher demand for fuel, which has been triggered by the shutdown of all of Japan's nuclear reactors.

At the same time, a recovery in Japan's economy is also helping spur domestic demand.

Last month, revised data showed that Japan's economy expanded 0.9% in the April-to-June period, from the previous three months. That translates into an annualised growth of 3.8%.

Martin Schulz, of Fujitsu Research Institute, said that given these factors "Japan was likely to see a trade deficit for some time to come".

"And as long as it is being driven by a recovery in domestic demand, this is not necessarily a negative sign for the overall economy," he added.

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

More Business stories


BBC Business Live

    QANTAS 06:42:

    Can Qantas solve its huge financial problems? The BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney says: "The airline's annual accounts have become a horror story of decline as it tries to chart a path back to profit and sustainability". Read more.

    MALAYSIA AIRLINES 06:32: BBC Radio 4

    Can an airline survive two major plane disasters in a single year? Today says that's the question for Malaysia Airlines. Those who have flown on the airline recently report near empty cabins. Can Malaysian Airlines survive? David Learmount from Flightglobal thinks so. "Malaysia will be given a chance by the government and it will be given some money. People don't like seeing airlines go bust," he told Today listeners.

    BUSINESS LENDING 06:22: Radio 5 live

    Wake Up to Money looks forward to later this morning when the Bank of England will give us an update on its Funding for Lending scheme - introduced two years ago to encourage banks to lend to small businesses. It's not been a rip-roaring success: a previous report said, despite all that help, the amount of money being lent was down £2.7bn over the first three months of this year.

    QANTAS 06:12:
    A Qantas Airline plane gets takes off at Sydney Airport in Sydney on August 28, 2014

    Overnight Australia's national airline Qantas reported a huge loss of A$2.8bn for the past year - its biggest ever. That was partly due to writing down the value of its planes by A$2.6bn. Qantas added weak domestic demand, poor consumer spending and rising fuel costs also contributed. Chief executive Alan Joyce tried to put some gloss on the figures: "There is no doubt today's numbers are confronting... but they represent the year that is past".


    Pro-independence business people in Scotland have hit back. 200 of them have signed a letter, appearing in the Herald online, saying that the business case for independence "has been made - and it's strong and ambitious". They add: "The real threat to Scotland is the real possibility of a British exit from the European common market".

    Rebecca Marston Business reporter, BBC News

    The monitor has been fitted and off we go. You can plug in to us bizlive@bbc.co.uk or @bbcbusiness. Here until 13:00.

    06:00: Ian Pollock Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning, the Business Live page will have its finger on the business pulse, just for you.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.