AP - Japan's industrial production rebounded 4 percent in December from November and household spending increased, suggesting the still-weak economy is gaining some steam after last year's tsunami disaster and flooding in Thailand that disrupted manufacturers' supply chains.
Inquiring minds are looking at the latest inflation reports from Japan for clues in the success or failure of Abenomics and prime minister Shinzu Abe's stated goal of two percent inflation.In December, Japanese inflation fell to 0.5% despite massive economic loosening, a 1% rise in industrial production, and a dip in the unemployment rate to 3.4%, the lowest since 1997.
Tokyo (AFP) - Japan's factory production suffered a surprise drop and inflation continued to slow in November, official data showed Friday despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-spending policy blitz to stoke growth.
By Willem Thorbecke
Today, we're fortunate to have Willem Thorbecke, Senior Research Fellow at Asian Development Bank Institute and a Consulting Fellow at Japan's Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, as a guest contributor.
Asia's role in the propagation of the global recession has been a subject of study, but relatively little attention has been devoted to the interaction of exchange rates a
Japan's industrial output shrivelled in November, as flooding in Thailand added to woes for companies already battling a strong yen and the global economic chill.Factory production dropped 2.6 percent month-on-month, worse than market expectations of a 0.7 percent fall, government data showed.Production of passenger cars and mobile phones were among the hardest hit as Japanese-run plants in Thailand were crippled by devastating floods that hit the country.Output rose 2.2 percent month-on-month in October.
Japan’s December data dump has yet again disappointed with most economic releases undershooting expectations.
Starting with the good news first, Japan’s unemployment rate held at 3.3% for a second consecutive month, in line with expectations.
Marc Chandler submits:In recent weeks several investment houses and observers have suggested the attractiveness of Japanese shares. The question now, as is often the case, is what came first, the upgraded assessments or the flows? The fact of the matter is that, drawing from MOF data, foreign investors have been net buyers of Japanese shares for nine consecutive weeks through last week.