Japan trade deficit soars to $10.88B in October

Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:30 PM

TOKYO, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Japan's October trade deficit soared 96.1 percent year-on-year to 1,090.7 billion yen ($10.88 billion) as a weaker yen pushed up import costs, data showed.

Data appearing Wednesday on the Finance Ministry web site showed the yen depreciation and higher fuel imports more than offset a big jump in exports during October. A weaker currency makes exports of a country less expensive, but it also drives up the country's import costs.

The October figure was the 16th straight month of deficit for the export-driven economy of Japan, which is trying to come out of years of deflation.

October exports jumped 18.6 percent year-on-year to 6,104.5 billion yen. But imports during the month totaled 7,195.2 billion, up 26.1 percent from the same month of last, leaving a deficit of 1,090.7 billion yen. Crude imports during the month rose 67.8 percent and imports of liquefied natural gas jumped 39.4 percent.

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