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Japan Trade Deficit Shrinks as Tax Increase Crimps Imports

Japan’s trade deficit shrank in April as imports rose the least in 16 months after the first sales-tax increase in 17 years crimped consumer spending.

Inbound shipments rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said today in Tokyo. Exports increased 5.1 percent, leaving a deficit of 808.9 billion yen ($8 billion), down 7.8 percent from a year earlier.