Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of 754.127 billion yen in August, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday - sinking into the red for the ninth time in 11 months.
The headline figure beat forecasts for a shortfall of 829.3 billion yen following the downwardly revised deficit of 518.9 billion yen in July (originally 517.382 billion yen).
Exports were down 5.8 percent on year to 5.045 trillion yen, beating forecasts for a contraction of 7.5 percent following the 8.1 percent decline in the previous month. It also marked the third straight month of contraction.
Exports to all of Asia shed 6.7 percent on year to 2.839 trillion yen, while exports to China alone plummeted an annual 9.9 percent to 966.299 billion yen.
Exports to the United States added 10.3 percent on year to 886.922 billion yen, while exports to the European Union plummeted an annual 22.9 percent to 477.944 billion yen.
Imports fell an annual 5.4 percent, topping expectations for a decline of 5.5 percent after rising 2.1 percent a month earlier.
Imports from Asia fell 5.8 percent on year to 2.526 trillion yen, while imports from China alone lost annual 7.3 percent to 1.208 trillion yen.
Imports from the United States eased 0.1 percent on year to 503.962 billion yen, while imports from the European Union added 2.1 percent to 574.153 billion yen.
The adjusted trade deficit came in at 472.8 billion yen, missing forecasts for a shortfall of 384.6 billion yen following the downwardly revised 371.9 billion yen deficit in July.
Upon the release of the data, the Japanese yen showed little movement against major currencies, trading near 78.42 against the U.S. dollar, 102.38 versus the euro, 84.63 against the Swiss franc and 127.26 versus the British pound.
by RTT Staff Writer
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