Wed, 28 Jul 2021

Japan reports largest jump in exports in 40 years

Robert Besser
19 Jun 2021, 15:13 GMT+10

TOKYO, Japan: Exports from Japan have registered the fastest growth since May 1980, as inoculations against the Covid infection revved up business activities in major markets.

The spike in exports chiefly mirrors the revival in shipping, compared to 2020's crisis-spurred drop, and is a positive indication as the nation's economy grapples to revive from Q1, in the midst of the protracted COVID-19 decline.

This robust data is expected to reinforce the outlook of the central bank, as it seeks to not veer from its ultra-easy stance, though an extension of crisis-mitigation programs to support a frail recovery of the economy is likely.

A governmental extension of COVID-19 emergency restrictions has been enacted in Tokyo and several key regions.

"We cannot count on private consumption, but an uptrend in exports and capital spending will help pick up the slack in the second quarter," according to Takeshi Minami from the Norinchukin Research Institute, as quoted by Reuters.

"Still, export growth may lack strength, as a global chip shortage will put a drag on car production over the next half year or so," Minami pointed out.

According to the Finance Ministry's data on June 16, exports registered a 49.6 percent year-on-year growth in May, as opposed to a 51.3 percent rise projected by economists during a survey by Reuters, with car shipments bound to the United States taking the lead.

The spike comes in close heels to a 38 percent increase in April, thereby indicating the highest monthly rise since that month in 1980, during which shipments soared 51.4 percent.

The increase in May primarily mirrors the spring back effect of a 28.3 percent drop during the corresponding period from last year.

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