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QINGDAO TODAY
在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy -> 
Japan’s May exports fall for 6th month
    2019-06-20  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

JAPAN’S exports fell for a sixth straight month in May as China-bound shipments of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and car parts weakened, in a sign of a deteriorating outlook for growth as the trade-reliant economy faces persistent pressure from slowing external demand.

Sluggish exports have been a source of concern among Japanese policymakers, especially as a bruising U.S.-China tariff war has upended supply chains and hit global growth, trade and investment.

“The business sentiment of Japanese firms, and in particular exporters, is falling depending on the extent of U.S.-China trade tensions, and that will suppress exporters’ capital expenditure,” said Hiroshi Miyazaki, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

“I think that will be a negative for Japan’s economy.”

Ministry of Finance (MOF) data showed yesterday that exports declined 7.8 percent in May from a year earlier, down for the sixth straight month.

The fall in shipments compared with a 7.7 percent annual decrease expected by economists in a Reuters poll, and followed a 2.4 percent year-on-year fall in April.

The trade data come on the heels of a Reuters poll of Japanese companies showing the economy is likely to stop expanding this year and into next as the Sino-U.S. trade war and a planned sales tax hike are expected to crimp activity.

“Although export volumes are unlikely to be as weak as they were in the last quarter, a likely rebound in import volumes means that net trade should turn into a drag on GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the second quarter,” said Darren Aw, Asia economist at Capital Economics in Singapore.

Indeed, Japan’s first quarter GDP growth was partly boosted by a statistical quirk of imports falling more than exports, meaning overall trade provided a boost to the economy even as the underlying picture showed weakness.

Earlier this month, Group of 20 finance leaders warned that intensifying trade and geopolitical tensions raised risks to global growth, but they stopped short of calling for a resolution of the deepening U.S.-China trade conflict.

Overall, however, weak global demand poses risks for Japan’s economy. (SD-Agencies)

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