The trade surplus rose 51.8 percent to 926.7 billion yen in April, the Ministry of Finance said today in Tokyo. Exports rose 8.3 percent in April from a year earlier, cooling from 10.3 percent in March. Imports climbed 3.5 percent, faster than a 0.1 percent increase in March.
Japan's exports to the U.S. fell for the first time in two years as the world's largest economy slowed. Shipments to the U.S. dropped 4.8 percent, the steepest decline since May 2004. The slump reflects the slowest growth in four years in the U.S., the destination of a fifth of Japanese exports, led by cars.
Shipments to all other regions rose, with those to Asia climbing at the fastest pace in three months, driven by China. ”Japan's trade is being supported by demand from Europe and China,'' said Noriaki Haseyama, an economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research in Tokyo. ``U.S. consumer spending is weakening, especially in car sales, and we need to monitor how much impact that will have on the global economy.'' Shipments to Asia rose 11 percent to 3.2 trillion yen after growing 10 percent the previous month. Exports to China surged 16.8 percent to 966 billion yen