Japan August trade deficit soars 25% to $12.3 billion
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's trade deficit ballooned to US$9.8 billion (S$12.3 billion) in August, official data showed on Thursday, underscoring how a weaker yen has sent the country's energy import bill soaring.
The monthly deficit of 960.3 billion yen (S$12.3 billion) was well up from a shortfall of 768.4 billion yen a year earlier, marking the worst-ever August deficit and extending a string of shortfalls to 14 months - tying the previous record set more than three decades ago.
The data showed that a drop in the yen since late last year has helped Japan's exports, with the value of shipments rising 14.7 percent, helped by strong demand for vehicles.
And with strengthening demand in key export markets including the United States, China and Europe, Japan's trade picture was likely to brighten, said Credit Agricole economist Yoshiro Sato.