Japan’s exports decline for third straight month

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese exports declined for the third straight month in February while imports also fell, according to government data yesterday, indicating a possible slowdown in the world’s third biggest economy.

Exports slipped 1.2 per cent from a year earlier to 6.38 trillion yen (USD57 billion) and imports declined even more sharply – by 6.7 per cent to 6.05 trillion yen.

The weak import figure is also a source of concern as it may reflect declining orders for companies as they reduce production domestically, added Sakamoto. Analysts will be closely watching export and corporate investment data for further clues on the economy’s health, she said.

Exports to China increased 5.5 per cent while imports dropped 15.8 per cent, as imports declined of clothes, metal products and parts for audio visual products.

Japan’s politically sensitive surplus with the United States slipped 0.9 per cent from a year earlier to 624.9 billion yen.