Japan recorded a trade surplus of JPY 751 billion in December 2020, compared with a JPY 159.1 billion deficit a year earlier and market expectations of a JPY 942.8 billion surplus. Exports increased 2.0 percent, rebounding from 4.2 percent drop and ending a 24-month deficit streak, the longest stretch on record. Meanwhile, imports dropped at a faster 11.6 percent after declining 11.1 percent, compared with market consensus of a 14 percent plunge and marking a 20th consecutive month of decrease. Considering the whole year, Japan posted a trade surplus of JPY 675 billion, narrowing from a JPY 1668 billion shortfall in the same period of 2019.