A drop in shipments to China and Western Europe has affected Japan’s export numbers for April, which scored a less than forecast 7.9 percent increase compared to same month of the previous year.
Most analysts had forecast levels around 12 percent, especially as the comparison basis is April 2011, when the economy was strongly affected by the effects of the March natural disasters.
“Considering falls in exports last April after the quake, it would have been natural if exports had risen by a double-digit percentage,” said a senior economist with Mizuho Research Institute.
The European debt crisis, coupled with China’s slowdown, resulted in a 7 percent decrease of Japanese exports to these two key destinations in April 2012.
“As exports to China remain weak, the possibility of a prolonged slump in China’s economy is a source of worry for Japan’s economy,” said an economist with Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.
“Looking ahead, whether Japan’s exports steadily recover or not will depend on developments in Europe’s debt crisis,” he added.