Quotes from BofA Merrill Lynch:- Japan swung from a trade surplus of ¥6.6tn in 2010 (based on customs-cleared trade data) to a deficit in 2011, the year of the massive earthquake in northeastern Japan. Since then, the deficit has worsened. The 2013 deficit was ¥11.5tn, representing an ¥18.1tn deterioration from 2010. – So far in 2014 (January-August), the deficit is already ¥9.5tn. The monthly deficit has narrowed somewhat because imports have declined to the normal range since last-minute demand waned after the April consumption tax hike. Nevertheless, the deficit for 2014 is likely to reach ¥13tn.
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