Japan fell into a trade deficit in April as exports tumbled at the fastest pace in 18 months on supply chain disruptions after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, according to statistics from the Finance Ministry on May 25.
It is the first time in 31 years that the world's third-largest economy has suffered a trade deficit for the month of April, said the ministry.
Statistics showed that Japan logged a deficit of 463.7 billion yen (5.6 billion USD) last month, reversing a year-prior surplus of 729.2 billion yen.
Exports fell 12.5 percent, the fastest pace of decline since October 2009, with shipments of cars diving 67 percent and electronics parts such as microchips dropping 19 percent.
According to the Japan Cabinet Office’s monthly economic report released on May 24, enterprises’ investment profits decreased due to the natural disasters. The economy’s weakness would continue for a period of time, however, with the hope that production would soon recover and Japan’s economy would rebound thanks to effective policies, as well as recovery of external economies, the report said.