Japanese exports fall and confidence declines

Confidence in the Japanese service sector fell to 41.7 in August, the first drop in eight months, according to the Economy Watchers Index released today.

The index, which surveys workers such as taxi drivers, barbers and hotel and restaurant staff, fell from its 21-month high of 42.4 recorded in July.

The output index, which records the level of confidence in future conditions, fell to 44.0 from 44.9 in July.

There was further bad news for the Japanese economy as the Bank of Japan’s preliminary balance of payments statistics showed that Japan’s current account surplus fell 19.4% year on year to ¥1.266 trillion (£8.3 billion), following a year-on-year increase in June.

Japan’s trade surplus reached ¥437 billion in July, a 40% year-on-year increase but a fall from the ¥602 billion total recorded in June.

Exports increased by nearly 6% over the month, but fell by 37.6% year on year to ¥4.55 trillion, the tenth successive year-on-year decline.

Similarly imports grew by 11% from June but fell 41.2% year on year, reaching ¥4.11 trillion.

Japan’s income surplus fell to ¥1.30 billion, from ¥1.65 billion in July 2008.

The M3 money supply increased by 2.0% in August, with an average of ¥1,057.4 trillion outstanding.