Japan’s exports slips amid declining U.S., China demand

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Japan’s exports slips amid declining U.S., China demand

Japan’s export shrank for its 12th month as shipments to the United States and China declined, severely impacting the country’s trade-reliant economy and raising the risk of a fourth-quarter contraction.

Wednesday’s official data showed Japanese exports falling 7.9% year-on-year in November, which was a small decline compared to the expected 8.6% decline by economists.

“Exports are quite weak. A recovery remained out in November even when looking at it on a volume basis,” said Atsushi Takeda, chief

Japan’s economy has been caught in the crossfire of the trade war between the United States and China this year. There had been increased protectionism and a related global slowdown which had hurt output and exports from the country.

But there are worries the third-quarter strength is masking widening cracks in the economy after the government went ahead with a nationwide tax hike in October, giving a big hit to corporate and household sentiment.

The Bank of Japan, however, is seen keeping monetary policy on hold at its two-day policy meeting ending on Thursday as progress in U.S.-China talks and a $122 billion fiscal package at home take some pressure off the central bank to support growth.

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