Japan’s exports to the United States rose for the first time in two months in January on a year-on-year basis, surging 10.9 percent to $9.03 billion, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.
The January growth in U.S.-bound shipments was led by autos, auto parts and motors, which jumped 10.5 percent, 29.9 percent and 23.3 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
Japan’s imports from the U.S. rose for the second straight month in January on a year-on-year basis, increasing 5.8 percent to $5.60 billion. As a result, Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. expanded for the first time in two months, swelling 20.3 percent from a year earlier to $3.43 billion.
The January growth in imports from the U.S. was led by motors, petroleum products and autos, which jumped 38.6 percent, 116.7 percent and 92.4 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
The U.S. is Japan’s second-largest trading partner after China.
In January, Japan posted a record monthly trade deficit of $17.52 billion with the rest of the world, as overall exports grew at a slower pace than overall imports. It was the seventh successive monthly trade deficit.
Japan’s overall exports rose for the first time in eight months in January on a year-on-year basis, increasing 6.4 percent to $51.60 billion, while its overall imports grew for the third consecutive month, expanding 7.3 percent to $69.12 billion.
The January growth in Japan’s overall imports was led by petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil. The recent weakening of the yen against the U.S. dollar pushed up the value of Japan’s overall imports.
Japan is now the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China and is heavily dependent on exports for growth.