UPDATE 1-Japan's long run of falling exports slows as auto demand perks up – Reuters


 (Adds detail, context on economy)
    * Oct exports -0.2% yr/yr vs forecast -4.5%
    * Exports fall for 23rd consecutive month
    * Imports -13.3% vs forecast -9.0%, trade surplus at 873 bln
yen 
    * Resurgence in virus cases clouds outlook

    By Tetsushi Kajimoto
    TOKYO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Japan's exports extended declines
in October but at the slowest pace in almost two years, helped
by improvement in Chinese- and U.S.-demand for cars and other
items as the world's third-largest economy emerged from its
worst postwar slump.
    The trade data is likely to encourage policymakers who are
counting on external demand to shift Japan's recovery away from
government stimulus back to private sector activity, although a
coronavirus resurgence has clouded the outlook.
    Ministry of Finance (MOF) data out Wednesday showed exports
fell 0.2% in October from a year earlier, compared with
economists' median estimate of a 4.5% decrease in a Reuters
poll. It was the smallest decline in Japan's 23 straight months
of export contraction and follows a 4.9% fall in the previous
month.
    By destination, shipments to the United States rose 2.5%, a
second straight month of increase and the biggest since July
2019 led by demand for automobiles and car parts.
    Exports to China, Japan's largest trading partner, increased
10.2%, driven by chip-making equipment, cars and plastic, while
those to Asia as a whole rose 4.4%, the first increase in eight
months.
    Shipments to the European Union fell 2.6% in October.
    Imports fell 13.3% in the year to October, versus the median
estimate for a 9.0% decrease, bringing a trade surplus of 873
billion yen ($8.38 billion), versus the median estimate for a
250.0 billion yen surplus.
    Japan's economy grew at the fastest pace on record in the
third quarter, rebounding sharply from its biggest postwar
slump, as improved exports and consumption helped the country
emerge from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
            
    
($1 = 104.1300 yen)

 (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  



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