Japan Feb exports rise 9.0 pct year/year – MOF

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 TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) - Japan's exports rose 9.0 percent in February from a year earlier
with its trade balance swinging back to surplus, Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday,
reflecting the global economic recovery but analysts predict the nation's exports will be
weighed down in coming months as companies partially suspend production following a deadly
earthquake this month.	
 The rise was faster than a median market forecast of an 8.6 percent annual increase and
follows a 1.4 percent gain in the year to January.	
 Exports to Asia, which account for more than half of Japan's total exports, rose 12.3
percent from a year earlier, while shipments to China, Japan's largest trading partner,
increased 29.1 percent from a year earlier.	
 The trade balance came to a surplus of 654.1 billion yen ($8 billion). That compared with
the median forecast for an 894.5 billion yen surplus. In January, Japan logged its
first trade deficit in 22 months as exports to China and other parts of Asia slowed
significantly. 	
 Following is a table of the main figures. Economists' median forecasts are in parentheses:
 	
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 (Unadjusted, mln yen, y/y)
                FEBRUARY          YEAR AGO     PCT CHANGE
 Overall balance +654,106(+894,500)   +638,277     +2.5    	
 Exports        5,588,619            5,127,147     +9.0 (+8.6)
 Imports        4,934,513            4,488,870     +9.9 (+4.4)
 	
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 To view full tables, go to the website of the Ministry of Finance at:	
 http://www.customs.go.jp/toukei/info/index_e.htm	
	


($1 = 80.930 Japanese Yen)	
	
 (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Joseph Radford)	
 	
 

Japan Feb exports rise 9.0 pct year/year – MOF