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Japanese exports unexpectedly fall in February

Japan's exports fell unexpectedly in February while imports declined more than estimated on an annual basis, provisional data from the Japanese Ministry of Finance showed.

Exports dropped 1.2% on an unadjusted basis to ¥6.384 trillion in February from ¥6.463 trillion in the previous year, compared with the Econoday consensus expectations of a 0.7% growth.

Meanwhile, Japan's imports declined 6.7% in February to ¥6.045 trillion from ¥6.477 trillion in the same month a year ago. The Econoday consensus estimated imports to fall by 6.1% year over year.

Japan logged a trade surplus of ¥339.00 billion during February, versus a deficit of ¥13.86 billion in the year-ago period.

Japanese exports to China rose 5.5% year over year to ¥1.140 trillion in February, as shipments of manufactured goods, machinery and chemicals increased, while imports declined 15.8% to ¥1.271 trillion. Exports to the U.S. rose 2.0% on an annual basis to ¥1.303 trillion, while imports grew 4.9% to ¥678.05 billion.

The Bank of Japan acknowledged earlier this month that the country's exports are projected to "show some weakness for the time being" amid a slowing global economy.

As of March 15, US$1 was equivalent to ¥111.55.