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  • » 07/21/2011, 00.00

    JAPAN

    Japan recovers, posts a trade surplus



    Since the 11 March disaster, trade figures were negative. Recovery is made possible by a more efficient organisation of production; however, power shortages, the world’s economic crisis and a stronger yen loom over the horizon.
    Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japan posted a trade surplus of Y70.7 billion (US4.4 million) in June, the first since the earthquake-cum-tsunami of 11 March, the Finance Ministry said. Experts had forecast a deficit of Y150 billion.

    The overall trend however remains negative. Despite a 5.4 per cent rise in exports in June over May, export still declined by 1.6 per cent over a year before. In the previous two months, the drop had been double-digit. Meanwhile, imports rose by 9.8 per cent, less than May’s 12.3 per cent rise.

    Companies so far appear to be coping with power restrictions during peak times by shifting some production to weekends, as the crisis continues at the Fukushima Daiichi plant whilst other nuclear facilities remain off-line following regular checks amid a lack of political clarity over restarting them.

    Power shortages are expected to continue, particularly in the peak summer month of August.

    A government decree took effect on 1 July forcing big companies in the Tokyo and Tohoku northern region to reduce peak power usage by 15 per cent to avoid blackouts, the first such restrictions on power use since the 1974 oil crisis.

    The auto industry appears to be leading the recovery, following months of great losses.

    Exports could continue to recover in July and August, but after that, things could be difficult if the economies of big importers of Japanese products like the United States and China slow down and the crisis of the euro zone persists.

    In addition, the yen continues to strengthen to pre-disaster levels, which makes Japanese goods more expensive overseas and imports more attractive.
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    See also

    23/04/2010 JAPAN
    Japan’s economy recovering
    Exports rise for the fourth month, by 43.5 per cent in March, because of Asian markets. Unemployment drops whilst domestic consumption rises. Observers are now waiting to see if national companies invest to stimulate further consumption.

    21/05/2009 JAPAN
    Record drop in Japanese economy in the first quarter: - 4%
    Tokyo’s data worse than the USA (-1,6%) end Europe (-2,5%). Exports in free fall as well as internal demand. There are some signs of recovery, but fears too, that it is tied to the governments massive stimulus plans.

    24/01/2012 JAPAN
    Tokyo increases tax burden, but with (perhaps) no result
    Taxes on sales double to 10%. The Central Bank revises growth forecast downwards (2%). The economy is in crisis due to a reduction in exports to Europe and USA. The value of the yen rose by 17% in two years. The effort to detoxify Fukushima.

    07/09/2009 CHINA
    China’s economic recovery uncertain a year into the global crisis
    A year ago the world was plunged into its current financial woes. For some months now China has been saying that the worst is over and that its economy was on a path of robust recovery. However, many experts doubt the current improvements are greatly significant as ordinary workers face an uphill battle to make ends meet.

    27/05/2009 JAPAN
    Japanese exports start to improve, partly because of greater sales to Chin
    Exports and industrial output are up in April over March, but remain negative year-on-year. Greater sales to China are one reason following Beijing’s stimulus package. Economists note that decline has slowed down but it is not yet a real recovery.



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