Japan feeling the economic nip in the air

The Japanese trade balance slid into deficit in August, according to data released Thursday, as sky-high oil prices ramped up import costs while exports slowed to a crawl, adding to the pain for an economy already teetering on the brink of recession, reports Reuters.

Excluding the month of January, when Japanese exports tend to drop on slower factory activity during the New Year holidays, the August results were the first monthly deficit since 1982, when Japan was reeling from the aftermath of an oil crisis.

In a further sign of trouble for an export-reliant economy, exports to the United States posted their sharpest fall ever from the same month a year earlier, while a Bank of Japan board member warned of more turmoil in the U.S. economy.