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.