Japan’s Exports Climb 2.4%

Japan’s exports climbed 2.4 percent in May on year, missing economist forecasts but underscoring a gradual recovery in external demand.  Economists polled by Reuters predicted a 3.5 percent rise in exports.

Imports fell an annual 8.7 percent versus expectations for a 7.5 percent decline forecast in a Reuters poll, while the trade balance stood at a deficit of 216 billion yen, smaller than predictions for a 226 billion yen deficit.

Shortly after the data the yen moved up very slightly against the dollar to 123.43.  Marcel Thieliant, Japan economist at Capital Economics, said that the trade deficit was likely to creep higher in the second half of the year as the weaker yen pushed up import costs.