Japan posted a top trade deficit of 2.2 trillion yen ($19 billion) in January, the most grand in eight years, the government said Thursday, as the cost of energy imports have soared.
Japan’s finance ministry said exports fell slightly up 9.6% in January of the same month the previous year. Imports jumped 39.6%, which in the sixth consecutive month of trade deficits, he says.
the amount is the largest since January 2014, when the trade deficit amounted to nearly 2.8 trillion yen.
Koya Miyamae, a senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, said the trade the deficit tends to rise in January because of the New Year holidays, which pushes exports down.
“But even taking that into account, the deficit is huge,” he said.
Japan imports almost everything son oil and son gas. Prices recently hit multi-year highs, adding to global concerns about inflation. Tensions in Ukraine amid concerns over Russian invasion pushed prices up again higher.
Meanwhile, the Japanese currency, the yen, has weakened against United States dollar as the Federal Reserve (Fed) prepares to raise interest rates to counter inflation. Higher rates tend to push the dollar higher against other currencies because they create more demand for dollar-denominated investments.
Exports have not grown as fast as imports as manufacturing of electronics andautomobile have been slowed down by shortages of computer chips resulting from pandemic-related disruptions in some countries.