Japan’s export growth slowed in April, primarily due to a decrease in shipments to Asia and China, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday.
In April, exports rose by 2.6% compared to the same period last year, weaker than the 4.3% increase marked in March and below the 4.5% increase forecasted by economists surveyed by data provider FactSet.
Exports bound for the U.S. and the EU led growth among regional destinations, increasing by 10.5% and 11.7% respectively. This expansion was driven by shipments of autos, and construction and mining machinery.
Exports to China and Asia continued to decline, decreasing 2.9% and 6.3% respectively.
Imports dropped 2.3%, marking the first decrease in 27 months. The decline was due mainly to a fall in imports of crude oil and liquefied natural gas.