Japan posted its biggest October trade deficit on record, as a revival in exports to the U.S. and China was overwhelmed by the nation’s soaring costs for imported fuel in the wake of the nuclear industry’s shutdown.
Japan’s large manufacturers said business conditions improved from three months ago, signaling the nation’s export-led recovery is gaining traction even as Europe’s debt woes roil global financial markets.
Confidence among large Japanese manufacturers rose the least since early 2009 in September, and companies forecast that pessimists will outnumber optimists by year-end, as a rising yen threatens the nation’s recovery.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. can thank government aid for helping auto industry sales grow faster in Japan than any major market this year. As state subsidies are about to run out, so may the euphoria.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that buying foreign bonds will be unnecessary under a new central bank chief, backing away from a policy proposal that may be seen by other nations as an attempt to weaken the yen.