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Japan’s Record Trade Deficit Shows Growing Pain of Feeble Yen

  • Crude oil, coal, and LNG inflate imports as yen weakens 23%
  • Soaring import costs put pressure on Japan’s recovery
A container ship in Tokyo Bay.

A container ship in Tokyo Bay.

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
Updated on

Japan’s trade deficit ballooned to a record in August that highlights the increasing pain of the weak yen as import costs spiral upwards, adding to pressure on the country’s economic recovery.

The unadjusted trade deficit expanded to 2.82 trillion yen ($19.7 billion) last month, the finance ministry reported Thursday. The gap was far larger than economist estimates and extends the sequence of red ink to 13 months, the longest stretch since 2015.