Japanese exports dropped at their sharpest rate on record in November.
Data released by the Finance Ministry showed exports declined 26.7% year-to-year in November to 5.327 trillion yen ($59.77 billion), showing that an escalating global economic downturn and a rising yen are taking a greater toll on Japan's export-dependent economy.
The drop -- the biggest since the ministry began releasing such data in January 1980 and the first two-month run of trade deficit since fall of that year -- was mostly due to falling shipments of cars and car parts to the US and Europe and semiconductors to China. Every region tracked by the data cut spending on Japanese goods last month. Exports to the US had their biggest fall on record. (info from The Wall Street Journal)