Japan’s trade deficit narrowed for the second time in March as fuel prices fell and import costs slashed.
The trade deficit narrowed to 754.5 billion yen ($5.6 billion) from the revised 898.1 billion yen in February, the finance ministry reported on Thursday. Economists had forecast a deficit of 1.29 trillion yen.
Imports rose 7.3 percent from a year ago, the smallest increase in two years, as the stronger yen and falling commodity prices, including oil, cut import costs. The expectation was at 11.4 percent. In February, the increase was 8.3 percent.
Exports increased by 4.3 percent compared to the previous year, led by car shipments. Economists had expected a 2.6 percent increase. Exports increased by 6.5 percent in February.