Japanese exports jump, imports hit record

Japan's exports picked up steam in November.

They climbed 20.5% on the year - slightly less than forecast, but marking the ninth straight month of gains.

Shipments of cars - Japan's number one export - climbed over 4%.

That was their first increase in three months, and suggests supply chain woes may be easing off.

The auto industry worldwide has been battered by a shortage of computer chips.

But semiconductors, along with steel, were among Japan's big export drivers in November.

The country's consumers look to be getting busy too, with imports surging to a record.

They were up 43.8% on the year.

That comes just days after the Bank of Japan's latest Tankan survey, which showed an improvement in service-sector sentiment.

Economists say that suggests robust domestic consumption is ready to support a recovery.

However, the same survey showed rising raw material costs are now the main worry for Japan's big firms.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting