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?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Japanese Household Spending March 2008

Overall household spending fell 1.6 per cent in March from a year earlier in price-adjusted real terms, countering a median market forecast for a 0.5 per cent increase and further signalling weak consumer spending. Such weakness in the domestic economy will likely keep the BOJ concerned about downside risks in coming months.

Still, like other central banks, the BOJ faces rising fuel, raw materials and food prices as it ponders what to do with rates, already at a very low 0.5 per cent.Japan’s core annual inflation rate hit a decade high of 1.2 per cent in March.

Housing starts, hit hard by a regulatory change last year continue to decline, falling 15.6 per cent in March from a year earlier.

And just to add to the gloom, NTC Research/Nomura/JMMA Purchasing Managers Index, which gives an early snapshot of the health of manufacturing, declined to a seasonally adjusted 48.6 in April from 49.5 in March and was the lowest since 48.1 in February 2003. A reading below 50 on such an index points to a contraction in manufacturing activity.