Japan's exports rise in September on higher demand for cars, machinery; deficit persists

Japan's trade deficit has edged higher in September though exports were higher than expected as the yen weakened to a near six-year low.

The Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that exports jumped 6.9 percent from a year earlier in September to 6.38 trillion yen ($59.6 billion) while imports rose 6.2 percent to 7.34 trillion yen ($68.6 billion). That left a deficit of 958.3 billion yen ($8.96 billion), compared to a shortfall of 943.2 billion yen a year earlier.

The strongest growth was in trade with China and other Asian countries and the Middle East. Machinery and car exports both rose, while demand for food and fuel pushed imports higher.

Japan's currency dropped to nearly 110 yen to the U.S. dollar in September, potentially helping to make Japanese products cheaper abroad.