Monday, September 10, 2012

Shrinking Japanese

A lot about China, and the Europeans are almost old news, that can having been kicked down the road so many times, but news on Japan has been a little less frequent.

Granted economists have not had a particularly good record of seeing economic shifts coming. But when the consensus call for a 1.7 monthly gain in industrial output, and the actual number comes in at a 1.2 decline, that is a pretty big miss on a one-month figure.

Deflation Deepens as Japan Contraction Risk Intensifies: Economy
Andy Sharp, Toru Fujioka, Bloomberg, 31 August 2012 (hat tip: NC)

Japan's consumer prices slid at a faster pace in July and industrial production unexpectedly slumped, raising the danger that the world’s third-largest economy has slipped back into a contraction.
The benchmark price gauge, which excludes fresh food, fell 0.3 percent in July from a year before, putting the central bank’s 1 percent inflation goal further from reach, a government report showed in Tokyo. Industrial output fell 1.2 percent.

Japan of course has had the earthquake and the fall out issues from that. But those problems are "baked into the cake" so to speak.
There is a always a story told to explain any data point. The one told here is the shrinkage in demand for Japanese exports. Maybe so, but Japan has been trying to get to a 1% inflation rate, and can't manage it. As the Lord Bison noted, it is not just how much money people have, but how fast they spend it: the velocity of the money. In Japan, they are holding tight onto their money.


PioneerPreppy said...

It's like a worldwide game of whack a mole and eventually they will lose.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: Very true. Everyone is tryng to "export" there way to success. We can't all be net exporters, any more than all children can be above average.