Japanese exports rise for 1st time in 6 months

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese exports rose for the first time in six months, inching up 2.8 percent in August from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday, a sign of recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disasters.

Exports had declined for five straight months following that catastrophe, which led to a serious parts shortage for manufacturers in the automobile and electronics industries.

In a positive sign for the auto industry, motor vehicles exports rose 5.3 percent.

However, Japanese manufacturers are now being threatened by the recent surge in the yen, which erodes foreign earned income. The dollar is hovering in the 76-yen range, near record lows.

Overall, the value of goods exported in August totaled 5.36 trillion yen ($70.5 billion), while imports came to 6.13 trillion ($80.7 billion), up 19.2 percent, the ministry said.

That gave Japan a trade deficit of 775 billion yen ($10.2 billion).

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