Japan's exports log massive hike

08:43, March 25, 2010      

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Japan's exports soared at the fastest pace in about three decades last month, helping the world's second-largest economy to extend a recovery from the worst recession in decades, data showed Wednesday.

Exports in February leapt 45.3 percent to 5.13 trillion yen ($56 billion), the fastest year-on-year growth since April 1980, according to the finance ministry.

While exports are still about one quarter lower than their level two years ago, the picture has brightened significantly compared with February 2009, when shipments roughly halved from a year earlier.

"Exports, the driving force of a recovery in Japanese corporate earnings, have main-tained their steam," said Naoki Murakami, chief economist at Monex Securities.

"The momentum in the global economic recovery is becoming stronger thanks to a US rebound since late 2009," which followed upturns in the Chinese and other Asian econ-omies, Murakami wrote in a note.

Last month Japan's trade surplus surged more than eight-fold to 651 billion yen ($7.2 billion) from 70.8 billion yen ($775 million) a year earlier, topping market expectations.

Shipments of automobiles more than doubled despite the safety woes suffered by Toyota. Auto part exports rose 121.7 percent while electronics components were up 69.1 percent.

Imports increased 29.5 percent to 4.48 trillion yen ($49 billion) owing to higher prices of oil and nonferrous metals.

Credit Suisse economists said the latest data "confirms that both exports and imports have continued to recover."

With China, Japan's biggest trading partner, the trade balance slipped into a deficit of 24.6 billion yen ($269 million) from a year-earlier surplus of 10.6 billion yen ($116 million).

Source: Global Times
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