Japan Real Time Charts and Data

Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Japan related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Japan data charts with short updates on a Storify dedicated page Is Japan Once More Back in Deflation?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Economy Watchers Index December 2007

This post is more to keep the data set up to date than to register any real sense of surprise about the fact that Japanese merchant sentiment fell to a five-year low in Decemebr, as stagnant wages and record petrol prices left consumers with less cash to spend at restaurants and shops. Unfortunately, as I said yesterday, this is now becoming - at least in the short term - all too predictable. Surprises - if there are any to come - will probably start to arrive after we enter the recession.

The Economy Watchers index, a survey of barbers, shopkeepers and others who deal with consumers, slid for a ninth month to 36.6 in December from 38.8 in the previous month, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo, the lowest since January 2003. A number less than 50 means pessimists outnumber optimists.

Merchants' views on prospects for business over the next two to three months also deteriorated. The outlook index slid to 37.0 last month from 38.8, a five-year low.