Japanese Exports Rise Finally Boosted by Weak Yen

Japan’s annual exports in January jumped the most since late 2013 in an encouraging sign a weak yen is finally boosting the nation’s all-important export engine and helping the economy crawl out of recession.

The 17.0 percent year-on-year gain in exports marked the fifth straight month of increase, supported by shipments of cars to the United States and of electronics parts to Asia, data by the Ministry of Finance showed.

Ministry officials say exports are on a firm footing, adding that special factors helped boost shipments such as a rebound from last year’s Chinese New Year holidays which fell in January, and extreme cold weather which hit the U.S. economy a year ago.

A pickup in shipments – which had been a soft spot in the economy – is welcome news for policymakers who hope exports will offset still-weak private consumption, and cheaper oil prices will spur firms to spend more on wages and investment, generating a virtuous growth cycle.

And with the economy recovering at a subdued pace after slipping into recession last year, stronger exports growth would let the central bank hold off on any additional stimulus.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday he saw no need now to expand monetary stimulus as the bank raised its view on output and exports and stuck to its assessment that the world’s third largest economy is recovering moderately.

via Reuters

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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