Japan's exports tumbled 46 per cent in January, the fourth straight month of declines, as the global economic slowdown continued to sap demand for its automobiles and electronics. The Finance Ministry said Japan's trade deficit was 952.6 billion yen ($9.92 billion), its highest deficit ever according to local media reports.
January marked the fourth straight month the country was in the red, yet another troubling sign for the country's largely export-driven economy. Japan is mired deep in a recession and its manufacturers have been slashing production and cutting jobs. Exports to the US fell by over half, as car shipments were down 81 per cent. Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. fell to 132.8 billion yen ($1.38 billion).
Previously, exports to smaller Asian economies had propped up Japan's trade surplus, but this is no longer the case, as exports to Asia were also down 47 per cent.
Japan's trade deficit with China, meanwhile, shot up 61 per cent to 562.7 billion yen ($5.86 billion), as the fall of exports continued to outpace that for imports, marking the fifth straight month for a higher deficit.