Published On: Wed, Mar 19th, 2014

Japan’s Trade Gap Shrinks To Nine-Month Low

Japan’s trade deficit narrowed in February to 800bn yen ($7.9bn) – the lowest level in nine months.Exports increased by 9.8% and imports showed a sharp slowdown, with a 9% increase in February.

Japan's trade gap shrinks

In January the trade gap surged to a record high after imports increased 25%.

Imports had been increasing ahead of a planned tax increase planned for April, as Japanese stocked up on foreign goods.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, which had led to a temporary slowdown in foreign buying, also contributed to the large January figure.

Many analysts believe the imports surge will slow as the planned tax increase goes into effect.

Japan has a run a trade deficit for the past 20 months – a record stretch.

That has been partially due to increasing imports of fossil fuels, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster left the country bereft of its nuclear power base.