Japan Macro Updates

The One Stop Portal for Japan Macroeconomic Data. Simplified and Summarized!

We simplify and summarize key data so that you don’t have to spend hours reading confusing and long media releases. Read key economic releases and major events here in under 2 minutes. And we will explain the key takeaway for you. Stay informed and form a robust view on macroeconomic matters to aid your successful investment decisions

21st May 2024

Japan Exports and Imports

Key takeaway: External Trade is an especially important component of GDP for Japan. Hence, market participants worldwide pay close attention to data from Japan Customs on exports, imports and the Trade Balance. Since mid 2022, export growth in Japan has sharply reduced. The reduction in export growth is also a reflection on a soft global economy as higher interest rates worked their effect into the demand side of the economy worldwide in comparison to the expansionary periods of late 2020 and full year 2021. On the other hand, Japan had witnessed a surge in value of imports on the back of higher energy prices in 2022. In a welcome sign for Japan and global investors, exports have been rising for the past 4-5 months. Exports rose significantly at 8.3% y-o-y in the month of April. This was the fifth month in a row of increases in Japan’s exports. On the other hand imports also increased 8.3% y-o-y in the month of April. Due to the sharp rise in imports, the trade balance swung back into deficit at negative JPY462.5bn. The negative trade balance continues to be a challenge for Japan. The Japanese currency has depreciated massively in the past year making imports costlier and adding to price pressures. While consumption is expected to pick up in Japan on the back of strong wage hike, a negative trade balance will subtract points from overall GDP growth and continue to pressure the economy and policy makers.  

  • Exports increased 8.3% y-o-y in Apr (Expectations +7.3%)
  • Imports increased 8.3% y-o-y in Apr (Expectations -4.9%)
  • Trade Balance -JPY 462.5B

17th Apr 2024

Key takeaway: External Trade is an especially important component of GDP for Japan. Hence market participants worldwide pay close attention to data from Japan Customs on exports, imports and the Trade Balance. Since mid 2022, export growth in Japan has sharply reduced. The reduction in export growth is also a reflection on a soft global economy. On the other hand, Japan had witnessed a surge in value of imports on the back of higher energy prices in 2022. In a welcome sign for Japan and global investors, exports have been rising for the past 3-4 months. Exports rose significantly at 7.3% y-o-y in the month of March. This was the fourth month in a row of increases in Japan’s exports. On the other hand imports fell 4.9% y-o-y in the month of March. As a result the trade balance came in at a positive JPY366.5bn. The sizeable positive trade balance is a welcome change after having been mostly negative for most of 2022 and 2023 due to high imports. Export growth is also critical for Japan in the current environment when domestic consumption remains weak and consumers’ purchasing power being eroded due to high inflation over the past couple of years. However, whether exports hold up is still uncertain and will be closely watched by all, including the BoJ as a factor for determining future path of monetary policy.  

  • Exports increased 7.3% y-o-y in Mar (Expectations +7.0%)
  • Imports decreased 4.9% y-o-y in Mar (Expectations +2.2%)
  • Trade Balance +JPY 366.5B

20th Mar 2024

Key takeaway: External Trade is an especially important component of GDP for Japan. Hence market participants worldwide pay close attention to data from Japan Customs on exports, imports and the Trade Balance. Growth in Exports in Japan has sharply reduced in the past 12-18 months. The reduction in export growth is also a reflection on a soft global economy. On the other hand, Japan had witnessed a surge in value of imports on the back of higher energy prices in 2022. In a welcome sign for Japan and global investors, Exports rose significantly at 7.8% y-o-y in the month of February. This was the third month in a row of increases in Japan’s exports. On the other hand imports grew lower-than-expected at 0.5% y-o-y in the month of February. As a result the trade balance came in much lesser than expected at JPY379bn versus an estimate of JPY810bn. However, whether exports hold up is still uncertain and will be closely watched by all, including the BoJ as a factor for determining future path of monetary policy.  

  • Exports rose 7.8% y-o-y in Feb (Expectations +5.3%)
  • Imports increased 0.5% y-o-y in Feb (Expectations +2.2%)
  • Trade Balance -JPY 379.4B

24th Jan 2024

Key takeaway: External Trade is an especially important component of GDP for Japan. Hence market participants worldwide pay close attention to data from Japan Customs on exports, imports and the Trade Balance. Growth in Exports in Japan has sharply reduced in the past 12-18 months. The reduction in export growth is also a reflection on a soft global economy. On the other hand, Japan had witnessed a surge in value of imports on the back of higher energy prices in 2022. In a welcome sign for Japan and global investors, Exports rose 9.8% y-o-y and imports declined 6.8% y-o-y in December resulting in a major boost to Trade Balance.  The trade balance recorded positive JPY62bn in December which was a welcome change after having been mostly negative for most of 2022 and 2023. However, whether exports hold up is still uncertain and will be closely watched by all, including the BoJ as a factor for determining future path of monetary policy.  

  • Exports rose 9.8% y-o-y in Dec (Expectations +9.1%)
  • Imports decreased 6.8% y-o-y in Dec (Expectations -5.3%)
  • Trade Balance +JPY 62.1B