Rise in Japan's exports underpins economic rebound

TOKYO • Japan's exports rose for an eighth straight month in July on robust shipments to the United States and a boost from a weak yen, a sign overseas demand rebounded from a lull in the previous quarter to underpin a steady economic recovery.

The data underscores the Bank of Japan's view the world's third- largest economy is showing increasing signs of strength as private consumption adds momentum to an export-led recovery.

Imports rose for the seventh straight month on brisk demand for personal computers and digital cameras from China, highlighting the strength of domestic consumption that served as a key driver of Japan's economic growth in the second quarter.

"Exports aren't particularly strong in volume terms but will gradually recover ahead. The import figures, on the other hand, underscore the strength of domestic demand," said Mr Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute. "Domestic demand is gaining momentum and will likely drive Japan's economic recovery."

Japan's total exports increased 13.4 per cent last month from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed yesterday.

The rise, which followed a 9.7 per cent increase in June, was driven by solid car shipments to the US and demand from China.

But the gain in exports was more modest in volume terms at 2.6 per cent, suggesting the value of exports was inflated by the yen's declines during the month.

Total imports were up 16.3 per cent last month from a year earlier. It followed a 15.5 per cent rise in June.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2017, with the headline 'Rise in Japan's exports underpins economic rebound'. Print Edition | Subscribe