TOKYO — Japan reports its exports tumbled 8.4
Exports to all of Asia dropped 13
The politically delicate trade surplus with the United States rose 5
Japan's total trade deficit expanded by nearly half from a year earlier to 1.4 trillion yen ($12.8 billion), with exports
That was the fourth consecutive month of deficits and the biggest such gap since March 2014.
The weakening in trade is unwelcome news with the economy expected to slow in October following a hike in the sales tax to 10
The decline in exports in January spanned most major categories of products, from chemicals and machinery to electronics and cars.
Imports of crude oil fell sharply, as measured by value, largely due to lower prices.
The trends suggest a deteriorating outlook for trade as the U.S. and China spar over technology policies and other issues, Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary.
"Looking ahead, export growth should remain weak. We expect GDP growth in Japan's main trading partners to soften from 3.4
The Associated Press