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Japan Exports Fall Adding to the Longest Run of Deficits in 30 Years

Japan posted its longest run of trade deficits in three decades as exports fell in February, underscoring challenges for Bank of Japan (8301) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda in reviving the world’s third-biggest economy.

Shipments dropped 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 1.7 percent decrease. Imports rose 11.9 percent, leaving a trade shortfall of 777.5 billion yen ($8.1 billion).

Kuroda is scheduled to give his first press conference from 6 p.m. in Tokyo today, with news from Bank of Japan briefings usually embargoed until after they finish. The new central bank chief has pledged more aggressive monetary easing that may further weaken a yen down about 10 percent against the dollar this year, a move that’s already swelling the nation’s import bill as nuclear-plant shutdowns force bigger imports of fossil fuels….”

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