If Japan's trade numbers for last month are any indication of the global demand for manufactured industrial and consumer goods, then an economic recovery is still far off. Exports from the world's second largest economy based on gross domestic product were about half of what they were last year.
The numbers mean that Japan's recession is very unlikely to have bottomed. It also means that the U.S., U.K., and E.U. do not have an appetite for imported goods, a sign that talk of an economic recovery is premature.