By Shinya Ajima
Japan logged 684.7 billion yen (about US$ 8.8 billion) in trade deficit in November, the biggest for the month, as exports continued to decline amid the impact of the mass flooding in Thailand and fears of a global economic downturn on the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the government said Wednesday.
The nation posted a deficit in goods trade for the second straight month. Exports dropped 4.5 percent from a year earlier to 5,197.7 billion yen for the second consecutive monthly slide, while imports grew 11.4 percent to 5,882.4 billion yen, the 23rd straight month of gain, on growing domestic energy consumption, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary report.
Trade with the European Union was hit by concerns about the fallout of the eurozone fiscal problems on the 27-nation economic bloc, with Japan’s trade surplus with the region shrinking 84.2 percent to 27.6 billion yen, the smallest among comparable figures available since 1979. Japanese exports of vehicles and digital cameras suffered the most.