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MNI DATA IMPACT: Japan Dec Exports -6.3%, Imports -4.9% y/y

     TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's exports were in negative territory again in December
while imports also dipped as the economy continued to slow, according to data
released Thursday by the Ministry of Finance.
     The key points from the data:
     --Japan's exports fell 6.3% y/y in December, following the previous 7.9%
y/y drop, posting a 13th straight monthly fall. The decrease was higher than
forecast by the MNI median, which projected a 4.1% y/y drop.
     --Imports dropped 4.9% y/y in December, after the 15.7% y/y fall recorded
last month, dragged lower by shrinking domestic demand. MNI's survey pointed to
a 3.3% y/y fall. 
     --December's trade balance was a deficit of Y152.5 billion. This compared
with last month's Y82.1 billion deficit and was below the expected Y161.0
billion projected by MNI.
     --Exports to China rose 0.8% y/y, reversing the 5.4% y/y drop last month.
Exports to the United States fell 14.9% y/y, following the 12.9% y/y dip in
November while exports to the European Union dropped 8.1%y/y, faster than the
7.5% y/y fall in the previous month. 
     --Imports from the US dipped further by 13.7%y/y, after a 10.3% y/y drop,
and those from the EU edged up 0.1% y/y, compared with November's 5.5% y/y fall.
Imports from China fell 3.6% y/y, slower than the -16.4 y/y recorded for the
previous month.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; tel: +86 (10) 8532-5998; email:
--MNI Sydney Bureau; +61 405322399; email:

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