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Japan Trade Deficit Swells to Record as Import Costs Surge

Japan’s trade deficit widened to a record in January as surging import costs weigh on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to drive a sustained recovery.

The 2.79 trillion yen ($27.3 billion) shortfall reported by the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo today exceeded the 2.49 trillion yen median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 28 economists. Imports rose 25 percent from a year earlier and outbound shipments gained 9.5 percent.