TOKYO (AP) — Japan slipped back into a trade deficit in July, as exports languished and imports of gas and generating equipment surged.
The Ministry of Finance said Wednesday that the deficit was 517.4 billion yen ($6.5 billion) in July, according to provisional trade figures. That compares with a 69.7 billion yen surplus a year earlier and a modest surplus of 62 million yen in June of this year.
Exports fell 8 percent from a year earlier in July to 5.3 trillion yen ($66.9 billion), while imports rose 2 percent to 5.83 trillion yen ($73.6 billion).
Japan reported its biggest half-year trade deficit ever in January-June, 2.9 trillion yen ($37.4 billion), as exports weakened and fuel imports soared to keep power going despite shutdowns of most nuclear reactors.