Japan exports fall 6.8% in March, extending slump for sixth straight month

An engineer making an arm rail for residential buildings inside a metal processing factory at an industrial zone in downtown Tokyo, Japan, on March 22, 2016.
An engineer making an arm rail for residential buildings inside a metal processing factory at an industrial zone in downtown Tokyo, Japan, on March 22, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's exports fell 6.8 per cent in March from a year earlier, down for the sixth straight month, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday (April 20), as a slowdown in China and emerging markets hurts external demand.

The fall compares with a 6.9 per cent decrease expected by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 4.0 per cent drop in February.

Imports fell 14.9 per cent in March, versus the median estimate for a 16.2 per cent decrease from the year earlier.

The trade balance came to a surplus of 755.0 billion yen, versus the median estimate for a surplus of 834.6 billion yen.