Japanese exports undershot expectations in November despite the effects of a weaker yen, but rose for the third straight month suggesting a pick up in global demand.
Exports rose 4.9 percent on year, below expectations for a 7 percent rise in a Reuters poll and down from October's 9.6 percent increase. Imports decline 1.7 percent, below expectations for a 1.7 percent rise and down from October's 2.7 percent rise.
This brought the trade deficit to 891.9 billion yen, better than expectations for a 1.0 trillion yen deficit, but wider than Octobers 710 billion yen deficit. That marked the 29th month of deficit.
"The fall in import values highlights that the weaker yen is not the only factor at play. Export volumes have picked up lately as well, reaching a three-year high in October, the latest month for which seasonally-adjusted figures are available. Import volumes, in contrast, remain well below the peaks reached ahead of the consumption tax hike," Marcel Thieliant, Japan economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note.
"We... expect the trade shortfall to narrow, as the recent plunge in the price of crude oil has yet to be reflected in full in the cost of oil imports," he said.