18 Aug '11, 3am

Japan exports fall less than forecast; surplus down

TOKYO: Japan's exports fell for a fifth straight month in July, but not as sharply as expected, raising hopes for a gradual recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, official data showed Thursday. Exports fell 3.3 percent from a year ago to 5.78 trillion yen ($75.4 billion), beating market expectations of a 4.4-percent fall, the Finance Ministry said. Japan still managed to record a trade surplus of 72.5 billion yen -- 90.8 percent lower than the same month last year, and nearly matching the market forecast of a 70.1 billion yen surplus. Meanwhile, imports grew 9.9 percent to 5.71 trillion yen on rising energy prices, the ministry said. Export-oriented manufacturers have continued to rebound after the March disaster hit Japan's northeast, destroying factories and infrastructure and disrupting industrial supply chains. Economists have generally expected Asia's seco...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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