Page last updated at 07:29 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Japanese exports fall at slowest rate in a year

Containers at a wharf in Tokyo
The recovery will be led by exports, analysts say

Japan's exports fell at their slowest annual rate in a year in October, providing further evidence of the country's emergence from recession.

Exports from the world's second largest economy totalled 5.3tn yen ($60bn; $36bn), a fall of 23.2% from the same month a year earlier.

The main reason for the improvement was higher demand in Asia, analysts said.

Last week, Japan posted figures showing it had grown between July and September for the second straight quarter.

"Japan is clearly participating in the global rebound, and its Asian neighbours in particular are lending a helping hand," said Adrian Foster at Rabobank.

But while demand for Japanese products overseas improved, domestic demand for goods made outside Japan remained weak, falling by 35.6% in October.

This resulted in an overall trade surplus of 807bn yen.

"Japanese domestic demand is still weak. It's unlikely we'll see a robust recovery in Japan. But we should see a gradual recovery led by exports," said Yoshiki Shinke at the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.

The Japanese economy grew by 1.2% between July and September, but concerns about the strength of the recovery remain, particularly in light of figures released last week showing that deflation has returned.

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