Japan slips back to deficit as exports tumble 13 percent

February 17, 2016 11:45 PM

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TOKYO – Japan says its trade balance returned to deficit in January, with a shortfall of 646 billion yen ($5.65 billion) as exports fell 13 percent from the same month a year before, with shipments to China tumbling 18 percent.

Customs data released Thursday show exports dropped to 5.35 trillion yen ($46 billion) while imports plunged 18 percent to 6 trillion yen ($52 billion). The deficit compared with a surplus of 140.2 billion yen in December.

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