Mike Shedlock

In hope-against-hope scenario, countries with balance-of-trade surpluses struggle to maintain it. Put Japan, Germany, Brazil, and China in that group.

In that group, Japan is losing the Balance of Trade Battle.

Japan’s trade deficit widened to a record level in January, as falling exports combined with surging imports of energy.

Imports rose 9.8 per cent from a year earlier, while exports were down 9.3 per cent, resulting in a record monthly deficit of Y1.48tn ($19bn).

Last year Japan’s trade balance fell into an annual deficit for the first time since 1980, driven by subdued global demand and soaring fossil fuel imports in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power crisis.

Japan reported a trade deficit equivalent to 1475 Million JPY in January of 2012. Exports have been the main engine of Japan's economic growth in the past six years. Japan imports raw materials and processes them into high technology products. Japan’s major exports are: consumer electronics, automobiles, semiconductors, optical fibers, optoelectronics, optical media, facsimile and copy machines. Its main trading partners are The United States, China and European Union.

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Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management.

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