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Japanese trade flows nosedive in first quarter

Japan’s trade flows collapsed by more than double the average of the Group of Seven (G7), in the first quarter of 2009.

Exports by the largest developed countries fell by an average rate of 13.6% quarter-on-quarter, according to data released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Imports were down 10.5%.

“Japan seems to be particularly affected by the current crisis,” the OECD report says. In the first quarter of this year, the country recorded a 26.7% drop of exports and a 12.9% drop of imports.

The steep rate of decline—already observed for fourth quarter of 2008—reached double-digit levels in the first quarter of 2009 for almost all countries. Again, Japan stands out with exports falling by 42.1% and imports by 18.7%. Year-on-year, exports of the G7 on average dropped by 22.8%, while imports fell by 16.8%.

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