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[TOKYO] Japan's exports rose 8.5 per cent in March from a year earlier, a faster pace than in the previous month, government data showed on Wednesday, in a sign that overseas demand is gathering strength.
The rise matched the median forecast of economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 2.5 per cent year-on-year rise in February.
Imports fell 14.5 per cent in the year to March, versus the median estimate of a 12.8 per cent decrease. The decline was the largest since November 2009 as falling oil prices reduced the value of imports.
The trade balance came to a surplus of 229.3 billion yen (US$1.9 billion), versus the median estimate of a 50.0 billion yen surplus. It was the first surplus since June 2012.