What is Happening to the Japanese Recovery?

Japan.jpgYep, what is indeed happening?

(From the FT Lex column - walled for non subscribers

'What is happening to Japan’s economic recovery? Recent data shows workers are taking home only marginally bigger paycheques, and they are certainly not rushing to spend them: household spending, retail sales and housing starts all fell in the year to July.

Things are cooling on the factory floor too. Industrial production for July fell well short of expectations, dropping 0.9 per cent in July compared with (typically overblown) government forecasts for a rise of 2.2 per cent. That could reasonably be dismissed as a blip, particularly after a strong June, were it not for the ongoing rise in inventories of electronic parts and devices. Inventories have swollen by nearly 20 per cent over the past three months, leaving a lot riding on the year-end shopping season.'


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