Japan trade deficit

TOKYO: Japan swung back to a trade deficit in January as exports to China plunged, official data showed on Thursday, underscoring the impact of a slowdown in one of Tokyo’s biggest trade partners. The disappointing figures come after Japan’s economy shrank 0.4 per cent in the October to December quarter — or an annualised 1.4 per cent drop — owing to weak demand for big-ticket items like cars and home appliances. That was Japan’s second quarterly contraction in 2015, and dealt another blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to slay deflation and kick-start the world’s number three economy. The monthly deficit came in at 646 billion yen ($5.7 billion), reversing a 140 billion yen surplus in December.