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            december 08, 2019

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Vehicle exports continue to drive Japan’s economy as 2019 begins


Air exports of land vehicles and parts continue to be the main contributor to sustained trade growth in Japan, according to data from the DHL Global Trade Barometer released by DHL, the world's leading logistics company. An early indicator of global trade developments calculated using Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, the DHL Global Trade Barometer shows that Japan's trade growth is expected to remain restrained in the next three months with an index of 58 points amidst slowing global trade momentum.
Sectors that have seen an increase from the previous quarter include Basic Raw Materials, Chemicals & Products, Personal & Household Goods and Temperature or Climate Control. However, exports of land vehicles and machinery parts are still the biggest contributors to positive air trade growth, despite a downward trend for both air and ocean trade in general.
"Automobile manufacturing has been a key pillar of Japan's industrial sector for decades and continues to hold up a crucial share of the export economy," said Charles Kaufmann, President/Representative Director -- Japan K.K, and CEO, North Asia South Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding. "Employing five million people domestically and worth 50 trillion yen (US$442 billion) in exports alone, Japan's automotive industry continues to heighten its global competitiveness by investing in R&D to develop innovative technologies, especially in the area of autonomous driving.
"The Barometer's indications of strong Personal & Household Goods imports suggest that domestic sentiment has retained its recent optimism, with wage growth continuing to prop up consumer confidence despite the ongoing spectre of global trade disputes. This combination of relatively strong domestic demand and consistently hardy export sectors, like automotive, should support at least cautious positivity for Japan's trade prospects in the near term.
"The Barometer's results also suggest that global trade will continue to grow over the next three months and that the development of the previous quarters will continue. The pace of growth, however, will particularly decelerate for Asia except for China.
"The DHL Global Trade Barometer clearly shows that the state of global trade remains solid. Both air and ocean trade continue to grow around the world. However, given the smoldering trade conflicts, especially between the United States and China, and economists' expectations that the global economy could cool down, it is not entirely surprising that trade momentum has weakened slightly," said Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight.
Indices for all seven countries that constitute the GTB index -- China, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States -- are above 50 points. In the Global Trade Barometer methodology, an index value above 50 indicates positive growth, while values below 50 indicate contraction.
Launched in January 2018, the DHL Global Trade Barometer is an innovative and unique early indicator for the current state and future development of global trade. It is based on large amounts of logistics data that are evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence. The indicator has been developed in cooperation between DHL, the world's leading logistics company, and IT service provider Accenture. It is published four times a year. The next release date is scheduled for March 27, 2019.


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