The Latest: Japan's exports plunge 19.2% amid pandemic
TOKYO — Japan’s exports in July plunged 19.2% from a year ago, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to slam the world’s third largest economy.
The Finance Ministry’s provisional numbers showed Japan’s imports in July fell 22.3%.
Exports to the U.S. especially suffered, declining 19.5% last month. They include plastic goods, iron and steel and computer parts. But Japan recorded its first trade surplus in four months on the back of a recovery in China.
Japan’s export-reliant economy has been ailing since the outbreak caused some plant production to be temporarily halted, squelched tourism and generally hurt economic activity.
Japan has never imposed a lockdown but has encouraged people to work from home, wear masks and social distance. Some stores have closed or shortened their hours.
Japan has had about 1,100 confirmed COVID-19 deaths among 57,636 cases. Worries are growing over a recent surge in infection, especially in Tokyo and other urban areas.
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