Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Japan data shows more economic gloom
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 28, 2012

Japanese factories slowed in November, spelling out the daunting task that lies ahead for a new conservative government in reviving the world's third-largest economy.

The 1.7 percent drop in output from a month earlier -- worse than a 0.5 percent decline expected by the market -- came as the Liberal Democratic Party took power this week on a campaign that pledged to inject new life into the limp economy, after it won a landslide election earlier this month.

Japanese firms have been hurt by a strong yen, turmoil in the key European market and the global economic slowdown, confounding the nation's recovery from the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster and nuclear crisis.

A territorial dispute with Beijing has also weighed on exports due to a consumer boycott of Japanese goods in China stemming from the spat.

The latest figures reversed a 1.6 percent uptick in October factory production, with the economy ministry repeating its warning that output was "on a downward trend".

A survey of manufacturers, however, offered a measure of positive news with producers expecting output to rise 6.7 percent in December and 2.4 percent in January.

Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Securities Japan, was cautiously optimistic, saying production would "probably" turn positive in the first quarter of 2013.

And that "will probably lead to positive growth in gross domestic product as well", Adachi told Dow Jones Newswires.

Separate data Friday showed consumer prices slipped 0.1 percent on-year. Japan has yet to reverse the deflation that has haunted its economy for years.

The nation's new leader, Shinzo Abe, has threatened to revise a law guaranteeing the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) independence if it refuses to adopt a two percent inflation target -- part of his get-tough fix for the economy.

There has been tension between Abe and BoJ governor Masaaki Shirakawa on policy issues, with the new premier earlier saying he wants to replace the bank chief when his term ends in April.

Japan's new finance minister Taro Aso reportedly met Shirakawa earlier Friday with a message from his new boss to strengthen communication between government and the central bank.

Last week, the BoJ launched its third major round of monetary easing since September after its counterparts in the US and Europe also made big policy moves. But critics, notably Abe, say Japan's central bank has not done enough to turn around the lumbering economy.

The bank's own quarterly Tankan survey this month showed confidence among Japanese manufacturers hit a near three-year low in the final months of 2012.

Abe's LDP officially took power Wednesday as the yen weakened -- and Tokyo's stock market rose -- on speculation that the 58-year-old's pressure campaign on the central bank would see it roll out more aggressive action.

But the new administration faces a daunting task.

Japan's economy contracted in the third quarter and may have slipped into recession, while November's trade deficit widened nearly 38 percent from a year earlier.

The result pushed exports to the US ahead of those to China for the first time in nearly a year, although Beijing remained Tokyo's biggest overall trade partner despite their simmering dispute over an East China Sea island chain.

Abe has pledged to take a hardline stance in the long-standing row, which flared badly in September after Tokyo nationalised the small archipelago.

That set off a bitter diplomatic battle, huge anti-Japan protests across China and a consumer boycott that weighed heavily on China sales of well-known Japanese brands, including those of top automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda.

In other data released Friday, Japan's unemployment rate slipped to 4.1 percent in November from 4.2 percent the previous month.


Related Links
The Economy

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

New Japan PM faces tests on diplomacy, economy
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 26, 2012
Japan's new premier faces a long to-do list as he takes office Wednesday, including mending ties with Asian neighbours and reviving a limp economy that bedevilled previous governments, analysts say. High on the agenda for Shinzo Abe will be addressing prickly relations with China and South Korea, which greeted his rise to power with alarm after a series of hardline comments on territorial di ... read more

N.Z. quake city puts faith in cardboard cathedral

China suspends officials after 11 kids die in road wreck

'No Christmas' for Philippine typhoon victims

Christmas misery in Haiti camp, three years after quake

US readers turn increasingly to digital books: study

LG seeks ban on Samsung tablet sales in Korea

2012: Consumer tech takes center stage

Molecular levers may make materials better

Smaller Colorado River projected for coming decades

China's boom savages coral reefs: study

Spanish consumers prefer national fish

Study reveals that animals contribute to seagrass dispersal

W. Antarctic warming among world's fastest

Antarctic ice sheet warming faster than thought: study

NASA's Operation IceBridge Data Brings New Twist to Sea Ice Forecasting

Chief's hunger strike fuels Canada aboriginal drive

Small wasps to control a big pest?

Unraveling the threads: Simplest cotton genome offers clues for fiber improvements

Biologists design method to monitor global bee decline

A new, super-nutritious puffed rice for breakfast cereals and snacks

When the ice melts, the Earth spews fire

1,500 Nicaraguan farmers stay put despite volcano warning

Olympics: Putin orders Sochi check after quake

Four dead as heavy rains flood Iraq capital

Mali PM calls for swift African military action

Chad lifts expulsion order against critical Italian bishop

Mali Islamists destroying more Timbuktu mausoleums

Peacekeepers warn of potential catastrophe in Darfur

Scientists construct first map of how the brain organizes everything we see

Do palm trees hold the key to immortality?

Study: Human hands evolved as weapons

US shooting revives debate over videogame violence

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement