Japan’s trade feels effects of world economy’s problems

Ben Southwood
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JAPANESE trade dived in August, data revealed yesterday, driven by a collapse in trade with its biggest trading partner, China.

Both exports and imports slid in August, the Japanese ministry of finance revealed, as worldwide trade contracted.

But it was trade with its most important partner, China, which had the biggest impact – imports from the asian giant fell 7.3 per cent since the same month last year, while exports there plunged 9.9 per cent.

These falls drove overall exports down to five trillion yen (£39.8bn) – from 5.4 trillion yen last year. Imports slumped from 6.1 trillion yen to 5.8 trillion yen, leading to a three per cent narrowing in the size of the deficit – in August it was 754bn yen. But hopes of a turnaround in the Japanese trade decline could be squashed by the fierce and heightening territorial spat erupting between China and Japan.

OECD boss Angel Gurria yesterday told Reuters that the evolving crisis could shatter global growth.

“Trade had the potential of getting us out of the hole,” Gurria said. “[The crisis] hurts confidence at a moment when everybody was focused on how we get out of the hole,” Gurria went on.