TOKYO -- Japan’s exports to the U.S. rose for the 12th consecutive month in October on a year-over-year basis, increasing 3.1 percent to $11.2 billion, according to preliminary figures released by the Finance Ministry.
The pace of growth in exports to the U.S. quickened from 0.9 percent in September. Leading the way on U.S.-bound shipments were autos, motors and auto parts, which grew 4.8, 12.4 and 7.6 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
Japan’s imports from the U.S. rose for the fourth straight month, edging up 0.1 percent to $6.2 billion. As a result, Japan’s trade surplus with the U.S. expanded for the first time in two months, widening 7.0 percent from a year earlier to $5.1 billion.
October’s growth in imports from the U.S. was led by motors, autos and medical products, which surged 15.3, 116.2 and 10.1 percent, respectively, in terms of value.
Japan’s trade deficit with the rest of the world grew to $6.7 billion, the biggest on record for any October, as exports fell at a much faster pace than imports. It was the fourth successive monthly trade deficit.
Japan’s overall exports fell for the fifth consecutive month on a year-over-year basis, plunging 6.5 percent to $62.8 billion. Its overall imports dropped for the first time in two months, declining 1.6 percent to $69.5 billion.
Japan is now the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China and is heavily dependent on exports for growth.