Japan Export Growth Slows

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The FINANCIAL — Japanese exports increased less than expected in September, dogged by weaker demand in China and other Asian economies, according to Nasdaq.

Merchandise exports eked out a 0.6% gain from a year earlier in value terms to ¥ 6.417 trillion ($53.54 billion), rising for the 13th consecutive month, the finance ministry said. That compared with a 3.4% increase expected by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The gain was the smallest of the 13-month span despite the yen’s weakness against the dollar.

China’s economic slowdown has sent ripples across the global economy, hitting manufacturers in Asia’s export-reliant economies, from Japan and South Korea to Malaysia and Vietnam. Japanese industrial production fell in July and August, raising the specter of a second recession in as many years and fueling expectations for additional fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Exports to China—Japan’s second-largest export market—fell 3.5% in September after sliding 4.6% in August, the second consecutive month of decrease, the data showed. Exports to Asia as a whole also declined 0.9% in September, the first decrease in seven months.

Overall export volumes decreased 3.9% in September, the third straight monthly fall. Economists generally see volumes as a better gauge of strength in Japanese exports.

Japanese imports fell 11.1% to ¥ 6.532 trillion, the ninth straight monthly fall and the largest pullback since March’s 14.4% drop.

Japan’s trade balance came to a ¥ 114.5 billion deficit, compared with a ¥ 961.98 billion shortfall a year earlier. Economists polled by the Nikkei and The Wall Street Journal had forecast a surplus of ¥ 100.00 billion.

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