TOKYO, May 22 (Reuters) - Japanese exports rose 3.8 percent in April from a year earlier, marking a second straight month of gains, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday, in a sign that a weaker yen and a pickup in global demand are helping the export-reliant economy.
The MOF data also showed that Japan logged a trade deficit in April for a 10th straight month, with higher import costs offsetting export gains due to the weak yen.
The rise in exports compared with a median forecast for a 5.9 percent rise in a Reuters poll of economists, and followed a 1.1 percent rise in March.
Imports rose 9.4 percent in the year to April, up for a sixth straight month, and compared with 6.7 percent gain expected by economists.
That brought the trade balance into a deficit of 879.9 billion yen ($8.6 billion), compared with economists' forecast for a 621.1 billion yen deficit.
Exports to the United States and China, the two biggest markets for Japanese shipments, rose 14.8 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, in the year to April.
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