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Japan's trade deficit shrinks 31.5% in November

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Does Abe think making Japanese people any more patriotic than they already are will have them cheering a possible recovery of the national economy at their personal expense?

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The November deficit extended the run of Japan’s shortfalls to the 29th straight month

Is Abenomics working? yes, but in opposite direction.

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"Imports fell by 1.7%, the first downturn in three months, as the cost of imports of crude oil and petroleum products plunged."

But this is only temporary. When the oil price rises again, the trade deficit will expand again.

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A major key to reducing the deficit even further will be getting the reactors back online.

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Actually all East Asian countries, Japan, S.Korea, and China are reaping big benefits due to low oil prices which is still going down. Abenomics just got a big break. Lower oil prices means they don't have to spend as much on importing their energy - which leads to huge trade surpluses, which then contributes to higher account surpluses. I think the oil prices will go down and stay low at least until late 2015. After that, something will will have to give. Either Saudi's give in and start cutting production (unlikely), or the American shale oil producers all go bankrupt one by one (more likely). Once most of the American producers go out of business, then the oil prices will go back higher.

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@hotmail

what's your rationale for US oil producers going bankrupt?

Abenomics did not get a "big break" from lower oil prices. Actually, higher oil prices were the main drivers of inflation, which is one of the pillars of Abenomics.

And there is no "huge trade surplus." Japan will never see a trade surplus again in our lifetime.

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Japan will see trade surplus again if they switch the nukes back on...... Plus cheaper yen starts making production in Japan more viable.

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rickyvee: Japan will never see a trade surplus again in our lifetime.

I dunno. I never expected to see gasoline at under $3.89 USD/gallon and guess what I saw today driving by the station .... $2.85 ...

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Hooray! Let's all jump up and down in glee! It's a very minor change and directly effected by world oil prices. It does not reflect any economic growth in Japan. In fact, it shows just how fickle Japan's economy really is to be influence so much just by international oil prices.

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Does Abe think making Japanese people any more patriotic than they already are will have them cheering a possible recovery of the national economy at their personal expense?

More confidence = more consumer spending

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Thank the US for fracking. All countries that import oil are benefitting greatly.

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"Exports rose 4.9%, largely on higher shipments of electronic components, optical equipment and machinery."

This is somewhat misleading. Exports grew 4.9% in VALUE, but fell 1.7% by VOLUME.

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what's your rationale for US oil producers going bankrupt?

Fracking for oil is very expensive. They cannot forever frack at a loss, and expect to stay in business. The more they extract, the more money they lose. Unless of course the US government intervene and starts subsidizing the fracking companies, which I highly doubt will happen. Saudi's know this. The Saudis can wait because it only takes 5 cents a barrel for them to cover their costs. Where as it's about $70 a barrel for the US producers. A lot of US fracking companies borrowed heavily, and unless they start turning profit soon, they will be in trouble.

And there is no "huge trade surplus." Japan will never see a trade surplus again in our lifetime

You are correct. Japan's trade deficit is too huge to be remedied by falling oil prices. My slip of the keyboard.

Japan will see trade surplus again if they switch the nukes back on..

Not likely. The total annual energy bill to cover for the downed nuclear plants is only about $30 billion. Japan's trade deficits are well over $100 billion a year. It will help, but it still won't lead to trade surpluses, but it will increase Japan's account surplus (which is more important).

Thank the US for fracking. All countries that import oil are benefitting greatly.

The fracking can't go on forever. Even if they can stay fracking, the US shale oil field's production rates rapidly decline, compared to oil pumped from the ground. I say this is a long temporary phenomenon. We will be back to high oil prices in the future. Japan and other countries should take that temporary respite to reform their economies or face worsening consequences in the future.

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30% decline in the trade deficit is good news and I predicted the decline 2 months ago, watch for more of the same.

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