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

Japan's factory output rises in May, prices flat
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 28, 2013

Japanese factories put in a surprisingly strong performance in May, official data showed Friday, the latest good news for the world's third-largest economy as Tokyo works to breathe new life into the perpetual laggard.

The figures, which showed industrial production jumped 2.0 percent in May from a month earlier, come as Japan's trade picture improves with exports rising as business with the United States and China soars.

Markets had been expecting a monthly factory output rise around 0.2 percent.

"Broadly speaking I believe this indicates a gradual recovery. But this month's gains could be attributed to production of large machinery like turbines and boilers. So it could represent mainly temporary factors," said Yasuo Yamamoto, senior economist, Mizuho Research Institute.

And separate figures also published Friday painted a more mixed picture of an economy still struggling to reverse years of growth-crimping deflation.

Consumer prices were flat in May, although there was a modest increase in the metropolitan Tokyo area and the results were better than a fall in the previous month.

Household spending remained stubbornly weak, however, falling 1.6 percent from a year earlier.

Those figures are a key signal for economists who have been trying to pin down whether a policy blitz from Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, dubbed "Abenomics", is taking hold.

"Deflationary pressure appears to be broadly weakening," Hideki Matsumura, senior economist at the Japan Research Institute, told Dow Jones Newswires.

This week, Abe said he will spend the next three years rebuilding the nation's fragile economy, having banished the gloom that covered Japan when he came to power.

Since taking office in December, Abe has launched his policy prescription which blends massive monetary easing, big fiscal spending and a series of reforms aimed at freeing up businesses.

Japan's sleep-walking economy has been given a jolt by the moves, with the yen shedding some of its export-sapping strength and the stock market surging.

Abe faces elections in the upper house of parliament next month that are widely expected to see a resounding victory, solidifying his power base.

In April, new leadership at the Bank of Japan -- handpicked by Abe -- vowed to hit a two-percent inflation target within two years, jack up asset purchases including government bonds, and double money supply.

The ambitious target, a key part of the premier's bid to revive the economy, is aimed at reversing years of falling prices that have hurt private spending and business investment.

Deflation is bad for the economy because it encourages consumers to put of purchases in the hopes of getting them cheaper down the road which, in turn, weighs on producers.

Adding to Japan's challenges, the country's fuel imports have soared as most of its atomic reactors remain off-line since the huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011 sparked the world's worst nuclear accident in a generation.

The disaster knocked Japan's already lumbering economy and forced Tokyo to turn to pricey fossil-fuel imports to plug the energy gap.

Separate figures also released Friday showed Japan's jobless rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent in May.


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

Standard Chartered sees single-digit growth in first half
Hong Kong (AFP) June 26, 2013
Standard Chartered on Wednesday said it expects to see a net profit growth of "mid-single digit rate" for the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year, helped by strong client activity and volume growth. The London-based, Asia-focused lender said it expects income to grow double-digits in markets such as Hong Kong, Africa, while they expect income in South Korea and Singapore ... read more

RESCUE Consortium Demonstrates Technologies for First Responders

India chopper crash kills 20 as flood rescue forges on

India rescue chopper crash death toll rises to 20

WIN-T Increment 1 Enables National Guard to Restore Vital Network Communications Following a Disaster

Major rethink needed if chemical industry is to meet greenhouse gas targets

U.S., Japan work to analyze disaster radiation levels

Laser guided codes advance single pixel terahertz imaging

New laser shows what substances are made of; could be new eyes for military

Clearing up confusion on future of Colorado River flows

Ethiopia insists on talks with Egypt to solve Nile row

Sea level along Maryland's shorelines could rise 2 feet by 2050

Migrating animals add new depth to how the ocean "breathes"

Is Arctic Permafrost the "Sleeping Giant" of Climate Change?

The rhythm of the Arctic summer

Global cooling as significant as global warming

Warm ocean drives most Antarctic ice shelf loss

How Size-related Food Labels Impact How Much We Eat

Airborne gut action primes wild chili pepper seeds

Comparing genomes of wild and domestic tomato

Dutch government introduces nitrogen-reduction bill for nature areas

India steps up grim search for bodies in flood zone

New Jersey may have been hit by a tsunami in mid-June

Calgary woman's drowning brings flood toll to four

Mexico storm upgraded to hurricane: forecasters

Nigerian troops deadly rampage in April incident: report

Mali coup leader says sorry: military source

New Sudan armed forces chief after rebel attacks

Uganda president's son denies plan to succeed father

Lessons at home and homework at school in US

Social network size predicts social cognitive skills in primates

Gulf lovers use smartphones to beat segregation

China to fund search for origins of early humans

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