Japanese exports were up in September, but growth was well short of expectations.
Exports rose 11.5 percent from a year earlier; economists had predicted a 15.6 percent increase.
The Bank of Japan remains optimistic however with the Governor saying the world’s third-largest economy will continue to recover – due mostly to robust domestic demand.
But the latest numbers indicate slowing demand in Asia is undermining the Tokyo government’s stimulus policies.
Exports to Asia rose just 8.2 percent in September after increasing 13.5 percent in August. That suggests weak demand in countries such as Indonesia and Thailand – big markets for Japanese carmakers – was taking a toll.
Despite the weak trade data, the Bank of Japan raised its assessment for all nine regional economies.