Japan's cars drive export growth

A strong global demand for cars and electronics saw Japanese exports rise 45.3% compared to the same month last year, the country's finance ministry has revealed.

Latest figures for the month show exports grew to 5.13 trillion yen (£41.9 billion).

The finance ministry said it is the third straight month of year-on-year export rises.

Figures for each industry showed car shipments to the world jumped 117%, while electronics rose by 46% and exports of general machinery increased by 31.5%.

According to the latest figures, exports to other Asian countries rose 56% compared to the same time in 2009, to 2.78 trillion yen (£22.7 billion).

The figure underscored the growing importance of Asian markets in Japan's economic recovery. Shipments to Asia account for more than half of the country's total exports.

Shipments to the US rose 50% to 837 billion yen (£6.8 billion), with car shipments more than doubling. Exports to Western Europe were up 20%.

Imports climbed 29.5% to 4.48 trillion yen (£36.6 billion), resulting in a trade surplus of 651 billion yen (£5.3 billion)

Copyright © Press Association 2010