World Bulletin / News Desk
Japan's trade deficit surged to a record $112 billion in 2013 due to the increasing cost of energy imports after the shutdown of nuclear power plants, according to Japan's official data released on Monday by the Ministry of Finance.
The exports rose 9.5 percent to $680.9 billion, while imports jumped 15 percent to $793.2 billion. Japan's trade deficit in 2012 was $77 billion.
The trade deficit has been rising as costs for energy imports have surged with the weakening of the Japanese yen along with increased purchases of foreign oil and gas.
Japan's nuclear reactors, that once supplied a third of the nation´s power, have been offline for safety and regulatory checks after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Japan, the world's third-largest economy, had a $12.7 billion deficit in December.
Japan's deficit with China, its biggest trading partner, rose more than 43 percent in 2013 to $49 billion. With the US, Japan's surplus increased by 20 percent reached $59.5 billion.
The Japanese currency fell more than 20 percent against the US dollar since 2013.
On the other hand, the weaker yen is boosting corporate profits due to higher yen-denominated income for companies that earn a large share of their revenues overseas.Last Mod: 27 Ocak 2014, 13:23