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Poll shows July exports growing at steady pace

Reuters TOKYO (Reuters) — The nation’s exports likely grew at a solid pace in July, although worries lingered over global trade tensions, which could damage the nation’s shipments and the economy, a Reuters poll showed Friday.

Exports are expected to have risen 6.3 percent in July from a year earlier, the poll of 16 economists showed, after rising 6.7 percent in June.

Imports likely climbed 14.4 percent last month, accelerating from a revised 2.6 percent increase in June, as higher oil prices and a weaker yen boosted import costs.

As a result, the trade balance will likely show a ¥50 billion deficit for July.

“The pace of the global economic growth, except that of the United States, is slowing down, but it is still expanding, so Japan’s exports will likely pick up as well,” said Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

“Global trade conflict remains a risk factor ... focus is how much the United States demands Japan over trade issues. If Washington imposes higher auto tariffs, its impact on Japan’s auto industry would be significant.”

The Finance Ministry will announce the trade data on Aug. 16.

Top U.S. and Japanese trade officials said they better understood each other’s positions after talks on Thursday, while Tokyo appeared to stick to its position of avoiding a bilateral free-trade agreement.

Japan’s economy grew more than expected in the second quarter, helped by strong household and business spending and recovering from a contraction earlier this year. Speech

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