Japan exports rebound in Oct, driven by cars bound for US

TOKYO • Japan's exports rebounded in the year to October, reversing from September's surprise drop as US-bound car shipments grew, although slowing global demand and the intensifying United States-China trade war cloud the outlook for export-reliant Japan.

Data released yesterday showed exports rose 8.2 per cent last month from a year before, slightly below a 9 per cent gain expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

The export growth followed a revised 1.3 per cent annual drop in September, which analysts said was caused by natural disasters that forced the closure of an international airport and crimped factory output, distribution of goods and inbound tourism.

Yesterday's trade news followed gross domestic product data issued last week that showed Japan's economy, the world's third largest, shrank more than expected in the third quarter.

Exports to China, Japan's biggest trading partner, rose 9 per cent in the year to October, led by cars, car engines and plastic raw materials, following the prior month's drop. Shipments to Asia, which account for more than half of Japan's overall exports, rose 7.3 per cent.

Japan's exports to the US grew 11.6 per cent in the year to October, led by shipments of cars.

US-bound auto exports stood at 154,085 cars, up 3 per cent year on year, rising for the first time in five months.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2018, with the headline 'Japan exports rebound in Oct, driven by cars bound for US'. Print Edition | Subscribe