Japan Hits Record Trade Deficit

Japan has reported a record annual trade deficit after the weak yen pushed up the cost of energy imports.

Its deficit rose to 11.5 trillion yen ($112bn; £68bn) in 2013 – a 65% jump from a year ago.

Japan has seen its energy imports rise in recent years after it shut all of its nuclear reactors in the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake in 2011.

But it is having to pay more for those imports after a series of aggressive policy moves weakened the yen sharply.

The Japanese currency fell more than 20% against the US dollar between January and December last year.

The latest trade data showed that while Japan’s imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) rose 0.2% by volume in 2013 from the previous year – the value of those imports surged nearly 18%.

This is the third year in a row that Japan – traditionally known for the strength of its exports – has reported an annual trade deficit.

via BBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza