TOKYO – Japan reports its trade deficit narrowed sharply in April from the previous year as the plunge in oil prices cut fuel import costs, while exports to the U.S. and the rest of Asia surged.
The Finance Ministry reported on Monday a 53.4 billion yen ($439.6 million) deficit in April, compared with an 825.5 billion yen deficit the year before. Exports rose 8 percent year-on-year to 6.55 trillion yen ($53.9 billion) while imports dropped 4.2 percent to 6.6 trillion yen ($54.3 billion).
Exports to the U.S., Japan's biggest market, jumped 21 percent from a year earlier to 1.36 trillion yen ($11.2 billion), while imports from the U.S. rose 24 percent, to 714.1 billion yen ($5.9 billion).
Vehicle exports surged 15 percent, while oil gas and other fuel imports dropped 29 percent.