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Japan's annual exports up for first time in 15 months on global demand
[TOKYO] Japan's annual exports rose for the first time in 15 months in December, led by shipments of car parts and electronics, underscoring a pickup in global demand and adding momentum to the export-reliant economy's recovery.
Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday that exports rose 5.4 per cent year-on-year in December, compared with a 1.2 per cent annual increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed an annual 0.4 per cent decline in November.
Shipments in terms of volume also rose 8.4 per cent from a year earlier, up for a second straight month, underlining a pickup in external demand.
The trade data should be encouraging to the Bank of Japan, which is seen maintaining an upbeat view on the world's third largest economy at a policy review next week on prospects of improving global growth.
However, worries about protectionism under US President Donald Trump have raised uncertainty over the outlook as he formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday, distancing America from its Asian allies.