Japanese official data revealed that the country’s exports rose for the first time in two years, last December, providing a glimmer of hope for the government, which is counting on an export-led economic recovery, despite the worsening of the Coron -virus crisis.
A recovery in exports may mitigate the risk of another recession in Japan after a period of recovery. On Thursday, the Japanese Finance Ministry said that exports increased 2% in December year-on-year, which is slightly less than the 2.4% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll, but it represents an increase compared to a 4.2% decline in the previous month.
This is the first year-on-year increase since November 2018, but on the other hand, and in a worrying sign, auto exports fell 4.2% from the beginning of the year to December, as shipments to the European Union decreased 32.2%.
The decline comes as carmakers such as Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor were due to reduce their production of cars this month due to a shortage of semiconductors after demand recovered from the Corona crisis.
The data showed that Japanese car exports fell in the whole of 2020 by 20%, in the largest decline since shipments halved during the global financial crisis in 2009, which is the main factor contributing to the overall decline in annual exports by 11.1%.