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Aug 29, 2014

Japan household spending slumps, output flat as tax pain persists

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese household spending fell more than expected and factory output remained anemic in July after plunging last month, government data showed on Friday, suggesting that soft exports and a sales tax hike in April may drag on the economy longer than expected.

While the Bank of Japan is in no mood to expand monetary stimulus any time soon, the data will keep it under pressure to act if the economy fails to gather momentum after contracting in the April-June quarter, analysts say.

Aug 26, 2014

BOJ to stay bullish on prices even as it cuts Japan GDP estimate – sources

TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan is likely to
keep its bullish inflation outlook even as it cuts its economic
growth forecast for this fiscal year in an October report,
sources said, suggesting that the bank will not ease policy
further at least until the end of 2014.

But central bankers are hardly complacent as they remain
concerned about the outlook for exports, a soft spot in the
economy that has failed to pick up despite the boost from a weak
yen that gives Japanese goods a competitive advantage overseas.

Aug 26, 2014

BOJ to keep inflation view even as it cuts GDP estimate: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan is likely to keep its bullish inflation outlook even as it cuts its economic growth forecast this fiscal year in an October report, sources said, suggesting the central bank will not ease policy further for at least the rest of the year.

After a hefty 6.8 percent contraction in second-quarter gross domestic product, many private-sector analysts are downgrading their growth forecasts for the year ending in March to around 0.5 percent, just half the 1.0 percent expansion estimated by the BOJ in July.

Aug 14, 2014

Japan heads for third quarter rebound but pressure on BOJ, Abe may build

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s economy is expected to rebound this quarter from a steep contraction, but looming challenges will keep the pressure on the government and central bank for action to sustain growth.

Economists expect annualized growth of about 4 percent for the three months to September after data on Wednesday showed that an April sales tax hike pushed the world’s third-biggest economy into a 6.8 percent drop in the second quarter.

Aug 14, 2014

Japan heads for Q3 rebound but pressure on BOJ, Abe may build

TOKYO, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Japan’s economy is expected to
rebound this quarter from a steep contraction, but looming
challenges will keep the pressure on the government and central
bank for action to sustain growth.

Economists expect annualised growth of about 4 percent for
the three months to September after data on Wednesday showed
that an April sales tax hike pushed the world’s third-biggest
economy into a 6.8 percent drop in the second quarter.

Aug 13, 2014

Japan Q2 economy contracts annualised 6.8 percent as tax hike bites

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan suffered its biggest economic contraction since the devastating March 2011 earthquake in the April-June quarter as a sales tax hike took a heavy toll on household spending, stoking fears that any rebound may be too modest to sustain a solid recovery.

While the soft data is unlikely to shake the Bank of Japan’s conviction that the economy can ride out the tax hike impact, it could add pressure on the bank for further monetary easing if weakness in exports and consumption is prolonged.

Aug 13, 2014

Japan second quarter economy contracts annualised 6.8 percent on tax hike pain

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan suffered its biggest economic contraction since the devastating March 2011 earthquake in the April-June quarter as a sales tax hike took a heavy toll on household spending, stoking fears that any rebound may be too modest to sustain a solid recovery.

While the soft data is unlikely to shake the Bank of Japan’s conviction that the economy can ride out the tax hike impact, it could add pressure on the bank for further monetary easing if weakness in exports and consumption is prolonged.

Aug 13, 2014

Japan Q2 economy contracts annualised 6.8 pct on tax hike pain

TOKYO, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Japan suffered its biggest
economic contraction since the devastating March 2011 earthquake
in the April-June quarter as a sales tax hike took a heavy toll
on household spending, stoking fears that any rebound may be too
modest to sustain a solid recovery.

While the soft data is unlikely to shake the Bank of Japan’s
conviction that the economy can ride out the tax hike impact, it
could add pressure on the bank for further monetary easing if
weakness in exports and consumption is prolonged.

Aug 12, 2014

Japan firms finally get pricing power just as economic growth sputters

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese companies, long bedevilled by deflation, are finally starting to pass on higher costs to their customers just as the economy stumbles, potentially complicating decisions for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the central bank.

Early signs indicate that price rises and expectations of further inflation are building as a labor shortage and Abe’s stimulus policies allow companies to charge customers more.

Aug 11, 2014

BOJ warns of sluggish export recovery

TOKYO, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Sluggish Asian demand and a shift
in Japanese production overseas will continue to weigh on
exports, the Bank of Japan said, underscoring its waning
conviction that overseas shipments will soon pick up and support
a fragile economic recovery.

The central bank also warned that while factory output is
likely to rise moderately, production of automobiles and
personal computers may remain weak due to soft demand.