March 25, 2009 / 12:10 AM / 11 years ago

Japan marks trade surplus first time in 5 months

 (For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP])
 TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) - Japan's trade balance swung into
suplus in February for the first time in five months, as a sharp
fall in imports offset a record fall in exports for the month.
 Japan's exports dived a record 49.4 percent in February from
a year earlier, government data showed on Wednesday, as global
demand for Japanese goods such as cars and electronics evaporates
amid a deepening financial crisis. [JPTBAL=ECI]
 It was the fifth straight month of annual drops in exports,
following the previous record fall of 45.7 percent in January and
larger than the median forecasts from economists for a 47.1
percent drop. [JPEXPY=ECI]
 Imports fell 43.0 percent, more than an expected 38.5 percent
decline, due largely to falls in oil prices, bringing Japan's
trade balance to a surplus of 82.4 billion yen ($841.6 million)
against economists' forecasts for a deficit of 10.9 billion yen.
 The trade surplus comes after Japan posted its largest trade
deficit ever in the export-slowing month of January.
 Following is a table of the main figures. Economists' median
forecasts are in parentheses:
 (Unadjusted, mln yen, y/y)
             FEB                JAN     YEAR AGO  PCT CHANGE 
 Trade balance   82,352(-10,900) -956,869   935,821 -91.2     
  Exports     3,525,454         3,480,403 6,973,675 -49.4 (-47.1)
  Imports     3,443,102         4,437,272 6,037,854 -43.0 (-38.5)
 To view the trade tables, go to the website of the Ministry of
Finance at:
 (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto)

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