Japan output data casts more gloom

Industrial production plummets as global demand for exports dries up.

    The global downturn has hit Japan's
    export-oriented economy hard [Reuters]

    Economists are forecasting that Japan's export-oriented economy could go through one of its sharpest contractions ever this quarter and next.

    "Production is falling off a cliff"

    Naoki Iizuka,
    Mizuho Securities

    "Production is falling off a cliff," Naoki Iizuka, senior economist at Mizuho Securities told Reuters news agency.

    "The Japanese economy is unlikely to bottom out until October-December next year as output is expected to remain very weak until then."

    At the same time unemployment is continuing to rise, hitting 3.9 per cent in November from 3.7 per cent in October.

    Meanwhile retail sale fell 0.9 per cent in November from a year earlier, underscoring the weakness in private consumption.

    Worse to come

    Earlier this week Taro Aso, the Japanese prime minister, unveiled Japan's biggest ever budget, hoping to stimulate spending and fend off some of the worst effects of the slowdown.

    The budget, approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, runs to some $980bn and includes increased spending on social security and pensions.

    Japan fell into recession in the third quarter of this year and analysts say they expect worse still to come in the months ahead.

    The latest government forecast projects Japan's economy will shrink this fiscal year and manage only flat growth the following year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.