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, November 30, 2007

Japan Retail Prices, Employment, Income and Consumption October 2007

Japan's economy showed its first signs of inflation this year after food and energy prices both rose in October. Core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food, climbed 0.1 percent in October from a year earlier, the first increase since December 2006, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo, while the index excluding food and energy continued to fall (by 0,3%).

Claus - who is busy with exams at the moment - normally covers this area here, so I will simply say that I doubt very much that this small rise will be enough to have any significant impact on Bank of Japan thinking about interest rates as the U.S. economic slowdown and financial-market turmoil cloud the outlook for growth, and the employment and earnings outlook in Japan continue to remain weak. I fuller examination of Japan's recent inflation dynamics can be found in this post from Claus examining the September data in detail.

Turning now to employment, the headline data is that the unemployment rate stayed at 4 percent in October after rising in each of the two previous months.

The rate has risen from a nine-year low of 3.6 percent in July. The number of jobs available for each applicant had the steepest decline in six years. Also worthy of note is the fact that the total number of employed persons in October 2007 was 64.24 million, a decrease of 130 thousand or 0.2% from the October 2006. As we can see in the chart the total number of those employed has been declining steadily since the peak in May. More detailed analysis of the current labour market dynamics will have to await the publication next week of October's edition of the Monthly Labour Survey.

For two-or-more-person households, the statistics office have also announced that the annual rate of increase in household spending slowed in October to 0.6 percent from 3.2 percent in September.

For workers households, average monthly income per household stood at 469,981 yen, up 0.6% in nominal terms and up 0.4% in real terms from the previous year.