In another sign of China's growing importance in world trade, figures released this week officially confirm what was aready becoming obvious, China is now the world's number one exporter to Japan. Given the size of the Chinese economy, and its rapid growth rate this picture is likely to be repeated across the developed world. China, despite its currently low per capita incomes is enormous due to its population size. Currently the world's number six economy, this decade should see China steadiliy climbing the ratings on all fronts. Meanwhile in Japan the deflationary forces continue their along their energy draining path as retail sales mark a 2.3% drop Y on Y in 02. Of course with the Japanese economy shrinking at 1 - 2 % a year and the Chinese one growing at 7 - 8% a little work with the calculator will show that the day when China's economy is bigger than Japan's is not too far off.
China outsold the United States in Japan for the first time in 2002, according to yearly import-export statistics released by the Finance Ministry on Monday. In a year that saw imports from China jump 9.9 percent to 7.72 trillion yen, U.S. imports fell 5.9 percent to 7.22 trillion yen. China's success was driven in part by brisk machinery sales while U.S. sales were hurt by a stagnant information technology sector.Though Chinese exports to Japan rose nearly 10 percent, Japan did even better, lifting its sales to China by 32.3 percent-a figure that helped reduce Tokyo's trade deficit with the Asian giant by 15.9 percent to 2.75 trillion yen last year.
Source: Asahi Shimbun
Department store sales and supermarket store sales in calendar 2002 fell 2.3 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, industry associations announced Friday. Sales at 292 department stores operated by 103 association member companies last year fell to 8.34 trillion yen, the Japan Department Stores Association said. Sales at 9,137 supermarket stores run by 102 member companies last year dropped to 14.37 trillion yen, the Japan Chain Stores Association said. In December alone, department store sales fell 4.9 percent to 972.1 billion yen, marking the ninth straight month of year-on-year decrease, the association said. Sales of clothing, especially high-priced clothing, were sluggish. Sales dropped 6.5 percent from a year ago, marking the fourth consecutive month of decline.
Source: Daily Yomiuri