Japan January trade balance: Y -943.4bn, not as large a deficit as expected (median consensus)

  • expected Y -1020.2bn, prior was Y 358.7bn

Trade balance (adjusted): Y 373.3bn, beat

  • expected Y 143.9bn, prior was Y 86.8bn

Exports y/y: 12.3% ... beat, quite a big one. And confirms a 14th consecutive month of gains.

  • expected 9.4%, prior was 9.3%

Imports y/y: 7.9%, small beat and supporting the notion that domestic demand in Japan is improving ... a higher yen will be favouring buyers of imported goods and services ... on the other hand it'll weigh on inflation

  • expected 7.8%, prior was 14.9%

As noted earlier in the preview, these Jan. numbers can be muddled about a bit by China New Year (China trade distorted by this in Jan/Feb).

There is little yen impact immediately from the release.