Japan’s exports jumped by the most since 2010 in July, aiding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to drive an economic recovery even as rising energy costs boosted the trade deficit.
Exports increased 12.2 percent from a year earlier after a 7.4 percent rise in June, the Ministry of Finance said in Tokyo today. Imports climbed 19.6 percent, leaving a trade deficit of 1.02 trillion yen ($10.5 billion), the third biggest on record in data back to 1979. The seasonally-adjusted deficit widened from June to 944 billion yen.
The stronger exports show Japan’s economy is starting to benefit from a recovery in demand in the U.S. and Europe, and the yen’s 11 percent decline against the dollar this year. The health of the economy will be the key to Abe’s decision in the next month on whether to raise the sales tax to 8 percent in April from 5 percent now.
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