TOKYO (AP) — Japan reports its trade deficit was a smaller than expected 180.8 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in June, though the rise in exports failed to keep pace with a nearly 12 percent increase in imports from a year earlier.
The deficit was smaller than most forecasts but more than triple the 56.1 trillion yen deficit recorded in June 2012, largely due higher costs for imports of fuel.
A weakening in the Japanese yen has helped export manufacturing, especially for machinery and autos, as shipments have climbed at double-digit rates from a year ago.
The Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that exports totaled 6.1 trillion yen ($60.9 billion) in June, up 7.4 percent year-on-year earlier, while imports rose to 6.24 trillion yen ($62.7 billion). Exports to the U.S. jumped nearly 15 percent.
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