A trade deficit in Japan is truly a rare event. But the strengthening yen and need for higher oil imports (due to the nuclear accident) have resulted in the first deficit since 1980. While most of this appears short-term in nature, Japan’s export driven economy could face increased pressure in 2012 should global economic growth remain weak. Ongoing strength in the yen would likely exacerbate the effect as Japanese goods become less competitive worldwide.
Read more in The Wall Street Journal.
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