November 16, 2018 / 6:30 AM / a month ago

Japan's exports to rebound in October, core CPI steady: Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s exports likely rebounded in October after falls led by a series of natural disasters, a Reuters poll found on Friday, but worries over global demand and the U.S.-China trade war linger.

FILE PHOTO: A worker rides a bicycle in a container area at a port in Tokyo April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Exports were forecast to rise 9.0 percent in October from a year earlier, the fastest pace of gain since January, the poll of 16 economists showed. In September, they declined a revised 1.3 percent.

Imports likely jumped 14.5 percent in October from a year earlier, giving a trade deficit of 70 billion yen ($617.5 million).

“The pace of expansion in global trade is slowing down and Japan’s exports growth has been sluggish. On the one hand, we believe negative impacts from natural disasters waned,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

“Although the U.S. economy is solid, the economies in other areas are softening, which are seen impacting on global trade, thus on Japan’s exports.”

The finance ministry will publish the trade data at 8:50 a.m. on Nov. 19 (2350 GMT, Nov. 18).

The poll also found the nationwide core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes fresh food prices but includes fuel costs, rose 1.0 percent in October from a year earlier, steady from September.

“Rises in crude oil prices till September likely helped increase costs of energy-related items but those were not strong enough to boost the core CPI,” said Koya Miyamae, senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

The government will release the CPI data on Nov. 22 at 8:30 a.m. (2330 GMT, Nov. 21).

Japan’s economy shrank more than expected in the third quarter, hit by natural disasters and a decline in exports, a worrying sign that trade protectionism is starting to take its toll on overseas demand.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Stephen Coates

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