Japan upholds monetary easing amid huge trade deficit | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 22.05.2013
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Japan upholds monetary easing amid huge trade deficit

The Bank of Japan has held off fresh policy measures after a two-day meeting in Tokyo. It said its monetary easing drive would continue for an unspecified amount of time to help the domestic economy.

Japan's central bank announced Wednesday it would maintain its aggressive monetary easing policy and further increase the amount of currency circulating in public and commercial bank reserves.

The Bank of Japan said monetary volumes would rise by about 60 to 70 trillion yen ($590 to 680 billion, 457 to 526 billion euros) each year in a measure aimed at ending years of deflation and slack economic performance.

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Japan GDP higher

The bank added the Japanese economy had begun to pick up again with a fifth consecutive month of improving growth forecasts for the Asian nation.

Import dependency

But official data released on Wednesday once again highlighted a huge trade imbalance for the country. Japan incurred a trade deficit for the 10th month in a row in April, with the shortfall expanding by almost 70 percent year-on-year as a weak yen pushed up import bills.

Massive monetary easing had driven down the national currency to multi-year lows against the dollar and boosted Japanese shipments abroad. Export-oriented companies such as carmaker Toyota had profited most from the development, but the impact had been wearing off recently with sluggish demand from Japan's main trading partners.

Following the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster, the Asian country has been forced to import much more energy from abroad at higher prices. Energy imports soared by 9.4 percent in April, adding to Japan's massive trade imbalance.

hg/ccp (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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