Japan's exports, imports surge

TOKYO - Exports rose at a faster-than-expected 12% pace in March, while imports jumped nearly 16% from a year earlier, the government said on Thursday.

The data suggest relatively strong foreign demand could lift growth for the world's No.3 economy in this quarter, economists said.

While domestic demand has remained lackluster, exports have lifted industrial production in recent months. Japan posted its first trade surplus in six years in 2016 thanks to a rebound in exports late in the year, though uncertainties over US policy under US President Donald Trump and over China's recovery persist.

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