Japan logs record trade deficit

Japan logged a record annual trade deficit in 2012 as exports extended a slide in December, signalling that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to weaken the yen have been slow to gain traction. Despite polls suggesting Japanese manufacturing sentiment is improving, the 2012 trade gap of ¥6.93 trillion ($78.27bn) and a seventh consecutive monthly drop in exports show that has yet to translate into hard economic data.