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Japan's exports in H1 up 23.2 pct, largest gain in 11 years

Christian Fernsby |
Japan's exports in the first half of 2021 increased by 23.2 percent from the previous year, logging the largest year-on-year growth in 11 years, revealing the global economic rebound from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to government data, local media reported Wednesday.

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The rise was the sharpest on a half-year basis since the previous 37.9 percent jump recorded in the first half of 2010 when the world economy was recovering from the global financial crisis, said a preliminary report by the Finance Ministry.

Exports in the first six-months period from January to June grew to 39.86 trillion yen (362.79 billion U.S. dollars), exceeding the pre-pandemic level of 38.25 trillion yen marked in the first half of 2019.

Japan's exports for the six months through June were stimulated by a 32.8 percent climb in car shipments as well as a 38.8 percent jump in exports of auto parts.

Imports also rose 12.2 percent from a year earlier to 38.87 trillion yen, the largest rise since the 15.9 percent climb in the second half of 2017, indicating a rebound in crude oil prices and a recovery in domestic consumption.

As a result, Japan showed a goods trade surplus of 984.99 billion yen in the January-June period, the second straight half-year period of black ink.

For June alone, Japan's exports soared 48.6 percent from the previous year to 7.22 trillion yen, and imports were up 32.7 percent to 6.84 trillion yen. The balance marked a surplus of 383.18 billion yen, after the 189.36 billion yen deficit in the previous month. All figures were compiled on a customs-cleared basis.