Last updated: October 20. 2013 9:36PM - 508 Views
Associated Press

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(AP) Japan reports its trade deficit rose to a fresh record for September, as costs for imports of food and other necessities outstripped growth in exports.

According to preliminary customs data released Monday, September's deficit was 932 billion yen ($9.5 billion), the 15th consecutive monthly shortfall. The deficit for April-September rose to nearly 5 trillion yen ($51 billion).

Imports rose 16.5 percent in September from a year earlier, while exports climbed 11.5 percent.

The yen has weakened by almost 25 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past year, making Japan's exports cheaper overseas but also raising costs for imports.

Imports of oil and gas, accounting for nearly a third of the total, fell 1 percent. But imports of soybeans and other food and machinery surged at double-digit rates.

Associated Press
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