Japan’s exports grew unexpectedly in May due to strong auto sales, but the rate of expansion slowed as inflation and rising interest rates dampened global demand.
The Ministry of Finance revealed on Thursday that exports increased 0.6% compared to the same month last year. This marked the 27th consecutive month of increases. The figures ran counter to the predictions of a 0.8% drop made by Reuters’ poll of economists.
The total amount of exports was $7.29 billion yen ($52 million), up from $7.25 billion in May 2022.
Imports were also experiencing a smaller decline than anticipated, falling 9.9% annually to 8.67 billion yen from 9.62 billion yen the previous year.
The trade deficit in Japan shrank to 1.37 billion yen in May from 2.37 billion yen the previous year.