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Key Economic Trends

  • In 2008, the U.S. merchandise trade deficit with Japan declined, primarily due to the depreciation of the U.S. dollar relative to the Japanese yen and the growth in the value U.S. exports of agricultural, chemical, and energy-related products.
  • Cereals; petroleum products; swine and pork; fertilizers; and coal, coke, and related chemical products accounted for the largest export increases to Japan. The increase in value of these exports is attributed, in large part, to an increase in commodity prices.
  • The most significant decreases in U.S. imports from Japan were in the transportation sector, specifically motor vehicles and certain motor-vehicle parts. The decline in imports was due to the downturn in the U.S. economy, which resulted in decreased demand for cars and trucks production.

Trade Shifts in 2008 from 2007

  • U.S. trade deficit: Decreased by $9.2 billion (11 percent) to $77.7 billion
  • U.S. exports: Increased by $3.3 billion (6 percent) to $61.4 billion
  • U.S. imports: Decreased by $5.8 billion (4 percent) to $139.1 billion

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