Japan's January exports fall by 46% from last year

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

According to official figures, Japan's exports dropped by 46% in January compared to a year ago, the lowest statistics ever to be recorded.

Japan's exports to the United States plunged by almost 53% in January, with car shipments down by 81%. Exports to the European Union fell by 47%.

The Finance Ministry stated that the trade deficit was 952.6 billion yen (US$9.9 billion), the largest deficit ever recorded. The country's trade deficit with China increased by 61% to 562.7 billion yen (US$5.86 billion).

"Japan is particularly vulnerable to this downturn because trade is so central to the economy," said Pascal Lamy, head of the World Trade Organization in a statement during a press conference today.

The demand for Japanese automobiles was hit particularly hard, plunging by 69%. Demand for electronic goods also dropped substantially.

Last week, the government announced that the country's economy had shrunk at an annualised rate of 12.7% in the last quarter of last year, the fastest contraction in nearly 35 years.


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