Japan posts first trade deficit in 3 months … MARKETWATCH
Japan posts first trade deficit in 3 months in May
By Mayumi Negishi
TOKYO–Japan logged its first trade deficit in three months in May on a surge in imports of aircraft and aircraft engines from the United States, data from Japan’s finance
ministry showed Monday.
Japan posted a trade deficit of Y578.3 billion in May, overshooting an estimate for a deficit of Y21 billion in a Nikkei survey, as global trade tensions simmered and Japan,
like other U.S. trade partners, was under pressure to lower its trade surplus with the U.S.
Imports also rose in tandem with a rise in crude oil prices, with imports from Saudi Arabia leading the way.
The resulting jump in imports outweighed an 8.1% rise in exports from a year ago, boosted by a surge in demand for liquid crystal display processing tools from China, and cars from the United Arab Emirates.
The rise in Japan’s overall exports–the 18th straight gain–was largely in line with a 7.5% increase expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration has refused to give its closest allies, including Japan, a temporary or permanent exemption on its steel and aluminum tariffs. Japan has said it reserves the right under the World Trade
Organization rules to impose retaliatory tariffs.
Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. in May fell 17.3% from a year earlier to Y340.7 billion. U.S. President Donald Trump has been critical of the Japan’s high trade surplus with the U.S.
Exports are expected to continue growing on the back of strength in the global economy, while imports will also likely to maintain solidness due to higher energy prices and a recovery in domestic demand, analysts