“Japan’s exports rose more than forecast in May as a weaker yen boosted the value of overseas sales, underscoring the profit boon for manufacturers from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reflation campaign.
The value of shipments abroad increased 10 percent in May from a year earlier, the most since 2010 and exceeding the 6.4 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists, a Finance Ministry report showed in Tokyo. At the same time, export volumedropped 4.8 percent.
Today’s data reflect an almost 12 percent slide in the yen against the dollar in the past six months that stoked criticism from trade partners including South Korea that Japan’s monetary stimulus is distorting commerce. The key for Abe is that exporters from Nintendo Co. (7974) to Mazda Motor Corp. (7261) use profit gains to boost wages and investment at home.
“The yen’s exchange rate, even though it has been adjusted a bit recently, is still weaker than last year’s level and giving a lot of impetus for Japan’s export drive,” said Long Hanhua Wang, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Tokyo. “The volume of exports is still unimpressive as the economic growth of China is stagnating and Europe’s expansion remains weak.”
The nation’s 11th straight monthly trade deficit was 993.9 billion yen ($10.4 billion) as imports gained 10 percent, today’s report showed. The shortfall was the third largest on record, and the largest ever in May. The yen’s decline boosted the costs of imports, while nuclear-plant shutdowns added to energy demand…..”Comments »