TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Japan's imports rose 45.9% in September from a year earlier to the highest on record, Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday.
That compared with a 45.0% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll and followed a 49.9% gain in August.
Exports rose 28.9% in the year to September, versus the median estimate for a 27.1% increase.
The trade balance came to a deficit of 2.094 trillion yen ($13.98 billion), versus the median estimate for a 2.167 trillion yen deficit.
($1 = 149.8000 yen)
Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto Editing by Chang-Ran Kim