Japan's exports in May jumped 49.6% from a year ago to post the sharpest rise in over four decades, with their rebound from a coronavirus pandemic-induced downturn driven by solid demand for cars and auto parts, government data showed Wednesday.

Exports of goods surged to ¥6.26 trillion ($57 billion) in the reporting month, increasing at the fastest pace since a record 51.4% leap was logged in April 1980, according to the preliminary data released by the Finance Ministry, which began compiling the statistics in January 1979.

After expanding 16.1% in March and 38.0% in April, exports grew for the third consecutive month, partly in reaction to a 28.3% year-on-year fall seen in May last year due to the initial shock of the pandemic that pushed down global demand and disrupted supply chains.