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Sep 18, 2014

Three quarters of Japanese firms prefer a stronger yen – Reuters poll

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) – The yen’s rapid descent to
six-year lows against the dollar is starting to push beyond
comfort zones for three quarters of Japanese firms, a Reuters
poll showed, highlighting the potential for profits to be
squeezed as import costs climb.

Japan struggled with a strong currency for much of the past
decade, only gaining sustained relief from late 2012 as Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe came to power and embarked on bold monetary
stimulus.

Sep 18, 2014

Japan’s frail business mood, exports show economy straining under tax hike

TOKYO (Reuters) – Confidence at Japanese manufacturers fell the most in nearly two years in September as a tax increase hit the economy harder than expected, while exports slid in August in a further sign that conditions have deteriorated in the crucial third quarter.

This frailty in the monthly Reuters Tankan business confidence, and the shaky outlook, could raise in coming months the pressure on the BOJ to ease policy further and complicate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision on whether to raise the national sales tax again.

Sep 17, 2014

Japan manufacturers’ mood falls most in two years, weak bounce seen: Reuters Tankan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Confidence at Japanese manufacturers fell the most in nearly two years in September as a tax increase hit the economy harder than expected, a Reuters poll showed, suggesting further difficulty for the struggling recovery.

The worsening sentiment in the monthly Reuters Tankan, with only a feeble improvement forecast for December, bodes ill for the Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan survey, which had been forecast to rebound in the third quarter.

Sep 17, 2014

Japan manufacturers’ mood falls most in 2 yrs, weak bounce seen -Reuters Tankan

TOKYO, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Confidence at Japanese
manufacturers fell the most in nearly two years in September as
a tax increase hit the economy harder than expected, a Reuters
poll showed, suggesting further difficulty for the struggling
recovery.

The worsening sentiment in the monthly Reuters Tankan, with
only a feeble improvement forecast for December, bodes ill for
the Bank of Japan’s quarterly tankan survey, which had been
forecast to rebound in the third quarter.

Sep 11, 2014

BOJ chief tells Abe ready to take steps if price goal in doubt

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he is prepared to take whatever steps needed to achieve the central bank’s 2 percent inflation target if it comes under threat.

In a face-to-face meeting about the economy, however, Kuroda said he received no particular instructions from Abe. Kuroda said he discussed the economy after a sales tax increase in April and told Abe that Japan’s economic momentum remains intact.

Sep 11, 2014

Japan business mood turns positive: government survey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Confidence at big Japanese manufacturers turned positive in July-September and they expect business conditions to improve further in the following quarter, a government survey showed, suggesting a gradual economic recovery from the slump after April’s sales tax hike.

The business survey index (BSI) of sentiment at large manufacturers stood at plus 12.7 in July-September, improving from minus 13.9 in the prior three months. The big manufacturers’ sentiment index is seen improving to plus 15.1 in October-December, it showed.

Sep 10, 2014

Japan machinery orders rise, ease concern about outlook

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s core machinery orders rose for a second straight month in July, a tentative sign of a pickup in business investment that is needed to propel Japan out of the slump caused by April’s sales tax hike.

The 3.5 percent rise in core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, was less than the median estimate of a 4.0 percent increase in a Reuters poll of economists, but still enough to show investment rising.

Sep 9, 2014

Japan policymakers respond to yen fall, warns rapid FX moves undesirable

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese policymakers warned on Tuesday that rapid fluctuations in the yen were undesirable for the economy, suggesting that further sharp declines in the currency may be unwelcome after its drop to a six-year low against the dollar.

Economics Minister Akira Amari said that while markets, not policymakers, determine yen levels, it was desirable for the Japanese currency to stabilize at levels that reflect economic fundamentals.

Sep 5, 2014

Japan PM’s stance on next tax hike ‘utterly neutral’: econmin

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stands “utterly neutral” on whether to decide in December to raise the sales tax again next year but he will be very cautious in his decision given the potential blow to the economy, Japan’s economy minister said on Friday.

Economy Minister Akira Amari, speaking to reporters in a group interview after a cabinet reshuffle, said the government is ready to roll out a stimulus package to limit the economic impact if it decides to raise the sales tax next year.

Sep 2, 2014

Japan’s ‘Abenomics’ feared in trouble as challenges build

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan for Japan’s economy to generate self-sustained growth on the back of his three policy “arrows” of massive monetary easing, spending and reform appears to be faltering – but no magic solution is in sight.

Abe’s aides and advisers are promising to forge ahead with painful structural reforms, while spreading the benefits of “Abenomics” to regional areas and drafting a long-term vision for addressing Japan’s shrinking population.