TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) - Japan's exports rose 2.6% in April from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday.
The rise compares with a 3.0% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 4.3% rise in March.
Imports fell 2.3% in the year to April, versus the median estimate for a 0.3% decrease.
The trade balance came to a deficit of 432.4 billion yen ($3.20 billion), versus the median estimate for a 613.8 billion yen shortfall.
For tables, click the MOF website at:
($1 = 135.0500 yen)
Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto Editing by Chang-Ran Kim
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