In April, Japan’s export growth reached its slowest rate in over two years, primarily driven by a decline in shipments to China. This decline can be attributed to persistent concerns surrounding weakened global economic demand.
Exports grew by 2.6 percent in April compared to a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Finance published on Thursday, which is slower than economists’ expected growth of 3 percent, and the achieved growth in March of 4.3 percent. Reuters reports that it marked the weakest growth since February 2021, when exports fell 4.5 percent.
The world’s number three economy emerged from recession in the first quarter, helped by a boost in consumer spending and tourism following the lifting of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, weak exports are weighing on factory activity and the broader recovery.
Exports fell by 4.2 percent in January-March, which is the first result in six quarters.
Japan’s exports to China, the country’s biggest trading partner, fell 2.9 percent in April on a year-over-year basis, dragged down by declines in car production, auto parts, and steel shipments. It followed a 7.7 percent decline in March for the fifth month.
Toshiba Reports a 35 Percent Drop in Net Profit for The Entire Year
Japanese conglomerate Toshiba said on Friday that full-year net profit fell by more than a third due to weak sales of electronic devices and other one-time factors.
The planned takeover bid process and likely privatization of the company would likely begin at the end of July.
For the fiscal year that ended in March, the engineering giant posted a net profit of 126.57 billion yen ($1.3 million), down 35 percent from the same period last year, on sales of 3.36 trillion yen, which is an increase of 0.7 percent, reports AFP.
Toshiba said that operating profit fell 30.4 percent to 110.55 billion yen, mainly due to a contraction in the hard drive market and other one-time factors.
Forecasts are not optimistic for the current financial year to March 2024, so operating profit will record a drop of 0.5 percent and sales of 4.8 percent. The company did not issue a profit forecast for the full year.