Japan’s export growth slowed to its weakest pace in over two years this April, as shipments to China decreased amid ongoing concerns about a global economic slowdown.
Exports increased by 2.6 per cent in April compared to the previous year, as per the Ministry of Finance’s data released on Thursday. This growth rate is below the anticipated 3 per cent and March’s 4.3 per cent increase. Reuters reports that this represents the weakest growth since February 2021, when exports declined by 4.5 per cent.
Despite emerging from a recession in the first quarter, helped by increased consumer spending and tourism post-Covid-19 restrictions, Japan’s weak exports are impacting factory activity and the broader economic recovery.
Exports decreased by 4.2 per cent in January-March, marking the first decline in six quarters.
Exports to China, Japan’s largest trading partner, dropped by 2.9 per cent in April year-over-year. This decline was due to reduced car production, auto parts, and steel shipments, following a 7.7 per cent decrease in March, marking the fifth consecutive month of decline.
Toshiba Reports a 35 Percent Drop in Net Profit for the Entire Year
Toshiba, a Japanese conglomerate, announced a significant decline in its full-year net profit, attributing it to weak electronic device sales and other one-off factors.
The process for a planned takeover bid and potential privatization of the company is expected to start by the end of July.
For the fiscal year ending in March, Toshiba reported a net profit of 126.57 billion yen ($1.3 million), a 35 per cent decrease from the previous year. The company’s sales totalled 3.36 trillion yen, a marginal increase of 0.7 per cent, according to AFP.
Toshiba’s operating profit fell by 30.4 per cent to 110.55 billion yen, mainly due to a shrinking hard drive market and other unique factors.
The outlook for the current fiscal year until March 2024 is not optimistic, with expected declines of 0.5 per cent in operating profit and 4.8 per cent in sales. Toshiba did not provide a full-year profit forecast.