Last Week in Numbers: Japan’s Exports at 4-Year High

The Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged at 0.1%. After the two-day policy meeting, it also kept its yield target for 10-year government bonds at around 0%. It said that the optimistic view on the economy should accelerate inflation to its 2% target.

Japan exports rose by 18.1% on a yearly basis last month. This was the biggest rise in exports in nearly four years. Imports also grew by 15.2%. The trade surplus was 113.6 billion yen (S$1.4 billion).

One of the major growth drivers for the rise in exports was car shipment to the United States, which increased by 28.3%. Shipments of electronic parts to Asia rose 21.6%. The Japan economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.5% in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, China released house-pricing data for August. Average prices of homes in 70 China cities rose 8.3% on a yearly basis. This was slower than the 9.7% growth in July. In Beijing, prices increased 5.2%, while prices in Shanghai grew by 2.8%. On a monthly basis, home prices were up 0.2%, a deceleration from July’s growth of 0.4%. 46 cities showed an increase in housing prices in August, compared to 56 cities in July.

Finally, the United States Federal Reserve left interest range unchanged at between 1% and 1.25%. The US 10-year treasury note yields increased as much as 2.29%, the highest since August.

Forecast for economic growth and employment levels remain unchanged for 2018. GDP is expected to rise by 2.4% this year, 2.1% in 2018 and 2% in 2019. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 4.3% this year, 4.1% next year and the same for 2019. Inflation is projected to be below Fed’s 2% target before reaching it in 2019.

Meanwhile, for more (free!) investing insights, sign up here for your FREE subscription to The Motley Fool's investing newsletter, Take Stock Singapore. It will teach you how you can grow your wealth in the years ahead.

Like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with our latest news and articles. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better.

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Jeremy Chia doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned.