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Japan Trade Deficit Exceeds Forecasts as Tax Rise Looms: Economy

Japan’s trade deficit exceeded analysts’ estimates in February, underscoring drags on the nation’s recovery ahead of a sales-tax increase in April that will weigh on domestic demand.

The 800 billion yen ($7.9 billion) shortfall reported by the finance ministry in Tokyo today was more than the 600 billion yen median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 31 economists. Imports expanded 9 percent from a year earlier, and exports rose 9.8 percent.