Japanese seasonally adjusted trade surplus slips in May

Alexander Bueso Sharecast | 19 Jun, 2017 09:43 - Updated: 09:43 | | |

BoJ

Japanese exports and imports failed to rebound in May, suggesting that foreign demand acted as a drag on the broader economy during the second quarter, but some economists were nevertheless optimistic.

In non-seasonally adjusted terms, exports grew by 14.9% year-on-year (consensus: 16.0%) to reach 5.85trn yen while imports were up by 17.8% to 6.05trn yen, according to the Japanese Ministry of Finance.

The result was an 329.6% increase in the country's trade surplus versus the year-ago period to reach 203.4bn yen.

During the month of April the value of exports had grown 7.5% and that of imports by 15.2%.

Strength in exports was mainly the result of increased volumes, which accelerated from a 4.1% year-on-year pace in April to 7.5% for May, according to Marcel Thieliant at Capital Economics.

Import volumes were up by 5.4% in parallel, their best showing since January, he said, "[which] suggests that domestic demand is picking up".

Upon seasonal adjustment on the other hand, exports were flat versus April and imports just 0.3% ahead. Hence, the seasonally-adjusted trade surplus slipped from 158bn yen to 134bn yen.

"Today’s data indicate that trade volumes were little changed in May, which suggests that net exports turned into a drag on GDP growth in the second quarter.

"Nonetheless, "new export orders" in the manufacturing PMI remains consistent with double-digit y/y-gains in export volumes. We reiterate our forecast that net exports will contribute 0.5 percentage points to 2017 GDP growth."

More news

11:55 Asia report: Markets mixed as Chinese Communist Party meets

Markets in Asia were mixed but little changed on Wednesday, as investors in the region were turning their attention towards Beijing and the Communist Party Congress for signals on the country’s policy direction.

11:55 Euro area construction output dips in August

Euro area construction output shrank slightly in August amid softer activity in both building and civil engineering.

11:49 US pre-open: Stocks seen a little higher as investors eye Dudley, Kaplan comments

US futures pointed to a slightly firmer open on Wall Street on Wednesday as investors eyed comments from Fed officials Dudley and Kaplan.

11:25 Xi hails 'new era' for China at opening of Communist Party congress

Chinese president Xi Jinping opened the Communist Party Congress with a three-hour speech on Wednesday in which he pledged to lead the country into a "new era", lowering trade barriers and deepening financial sector reforms.

11:11 Wizz Air applies for UK licence to ensure post-Brexit operations

Central and Eastern Europe-focused budget carrier Wizz Air has applied for an air operator's certificate and operating licence in the UK to make sure it can continue to operate in the country following Brexit.

10:19 McDonald's South Korean offices raided

South Korean prosecutors raided McDonald's Seoul office, as well as those of three partner companies, on Wednesday as part of a probe into allegations that the US fast food giant had been undercooking its meat, causing many customers severe illnesses.

10:17 Miraflores feasibility study delivers positive findings for Metminco

A feasibility study into exploration and mining group Metminco's Miraflores gold project in Colombia revealed that the project had the potential to deliver production levels of nearly 45,000 ounces of gold per year.

10:52 UK wages continue to lag inflation, putting ball in Bank of England court

UK wage growth continues to lag behind inflation, official figures showed on Wednesday, though shifts in the level of employment mean the Bank of England's decision on whether to raise rates in November is "on a knife edge", some economists feel.

09:46 Softcat throws up hard cash amid growing demand for cyber security

IT products and service provider Softcat proposed a bumper dividend after generating double-digit annual growth in sales and profits, but said it has not yet found a replacement for departing CEO Martin Hellawell.

09:38 Foxtons revenue drops in 'challenging' London market

Estate agency Foxtons reported a drop in third-quarter revenue on Wednesday amid challenging conditions in the London property market.