Japan Exports Rise More Than Forecast

Japanese exports rose more than forecast in April, providing support for an economy that’s expanded for two straight quarters after a recession in 2014.

The value of overseas shipments rose 8 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday, compared with a median estimate for a 6 percent increase. Imports slid 4.2 percent, leaving a 53.4 billion yen ($440 million) trade deficit. Japan’s exports exceeded imports in March for the first time in almost three years.

Strengthening large exporting companies has been one of the pillars of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies as the yen’s decline boosts the competitiveness of Japanese products overseas. The International Monetary Fund said on May 22 that weaker-than-expected growth in China and the U.S. could trip Japan’s export-led recovery.