Japan’s exports posted their strongest growth in more than three years in March, led by a surge in China-bound shipments, in a sign the economy continued to recover from last year’s deep coronavirus slump.
Even though the world’s third – largest economy has made headway upon recovery after the enormous global hit of Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020. Trade data suggests Japan’s economy is unlikely to completely ease concerns about the fragile recovery that is currently being made.
“The rebound in exports slowed significantly across Q1 and external demand is unlikely to provide much of a tailwind to growth this year,” said Tom Learmouth, Japan economist at Capital Economics.
“The impressive annual figure was down to base effects from the weakness in exports in March 2020.”
Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday exports surged 16.1% in March from a year earlier, marking the steepest rise since a 16.2% gain in November 2017.
That was better than an 11.6% jump expected by economists in a Reuters poll, and followed a 4.5% contraction in February.
Looking at regions, shipments to China (one of the largest Japan’s trading partners) has soared 37.2% in the current year to March. Led by nonferrous metals and plastic materials, it has seen their biggest gain since January. This boosted stronger Japan’s exports of semiconductor machinery.
Exports to world’s top economy, the United States, rose by 4.9% due to the current strong demand for cars and construction machinery such as offset lower shipments of aircrafts and bulldozers.
Furthermore, Export shipments to Asia has gained 22.4%, while those in the EU increased 12.8% in March.
Imports rose 5.7% in March compared with the same month a year earlier, versus the median estimate for a 4.7% increase, bringing a trade surplus of 663.7 billion yen ($6.11 billion) versus the median estimate for a 490.0 billion yen surplus.
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Source – https://japantoday.com/