Japan has posted its first-ever trade deficit with the EU, underlining the threat to the recovery of the world’s third-largest economy posed by the debt crisis roiling Spain and Greece.
Big deficits have opened up all over Japan’s trade account since March last year when the Fukushima nuclear crisis caused imports of replacement fuels to soar, while the strong yen and uncertain global demand weighed on exports.
In recent months, however, Japan’s trade with the EU has deteriorated sharply. In May, Japanese shipments to the EU fell 0.9 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, even as they surged 38 per cent to North America.
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