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Japan Posts Record Annual Trade Deficit As Import Bill Soars

A lack of export momentum could partly reflect Japanese firms shifting business overseas and their declining competitiveness, some Bank of Japan board members said in minutes released today. Its hard to anticipate when Japan can emerge from trade deficits at this point, said Takeshi Minami , chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute. If a trade deficit as a result of high energy import costs makes Japan look like a high-cost country, it may discourage moves by companies to have production centers in Japan and undermine Abenomics. The Topix index of stocks fell 2.4 percent as of 1:09 p.m. in Tokyo amid global concerns about risks in visite site emerging markets . The yen was at 102.47 per dollar, compared with a five-year low of 105.44 on Jan. 2. Analyst Forecasts The December figures compared with median estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts for an increase in imports of 26 percent from a year earlier, a gain in exports of 18 percent, and a trade shortfall of about 1.2 trillion yen. Japanese exporters struggling even after the yens slide of about 25 percent in the past two years against the dollar include Nintendo Co. (7974) , which this month projected an operating loss and cut its sales this site forecast for the Wii U console.
More: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-26/japan-record-annual-trade-deficit-shows-import-drag-on-recovery.html

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