Global demand for Japan's cars, electronics and other exports - the main engine of its economic growth - plunged during the global economic downturn, but there are hopes that the worst of the slump is over
Exports were down 40.9 per cent in May from a year earlier, having recovered somewhat from a record year-on-year fall of 49.5 per cent in February. Imports sank 42.4 per cent last month on lower prices of crude oil and raw materials.This is likely to continue to rebound in the next few months, said Hiroshi Watanabe, economist at the Daiwa Institute of Research.
"The export recovery will boost industrial production at home. The problem is what will happen after that," he said."Japan's main exports are automobiles and electronics - in other words, durable goods for US and European consumers. I do not expect demand for them to grow much in the future," he said.
The trade surplus with the United States was down 52.9 per cent in May from a year earlier while that with the European Union slid 75.4 per cent. The deficit with China shrank sharply to Y860 million ($A11.35 million) from Y40.5 billion ($A534.51 million) a year ago. (The Sydney Morning Herald)