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Nov 9, 2015

Japan wages up modestly, summer bonuses slump; keep lid on consumption

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese summer bonuses fell the most since the global financial crisis partly due to the effects of sampling, while monthly pay rose at a modest pace for a third straight month in September, underlining concerns about tepid wages and private consumption.

Real wages, adjusted for inflation, rose 0.5 percent year-on-year in September, up three months in a row, as nominal wages outpaced tame inflation, the labor ministry data showed on Monday.

Nov 6, 2015

Japan economy likely fell into technical recession in third quarter

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s economy probably slipped into technical recession in July-September due to a drop in capital spending and soft external demand and private consumption, a Reuters poll showed.

The world’s third largest economy is seen to have contracted at an annualized rate of 0.2 percent in the third quarter, following a 1.2 percent contraction in April-June, the poll of 19 economists showed. A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

Oct 27, 2015

Japan needs 2017 sales tax hike for fiscal sustainability: IMF

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan should stick to its plan to raise the sales tax to 10 percent from 8 percent in April 2017 in order to deliver fiscal sustainability, a senior official at the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday

Vitor Gaspar, the head of the IMF’s fiscal department, also said policymakers in Japan and other major economies need to stand ready to follow a “comprehensive approach”, including monetary, fiscal and structural reforms to achieve 2 percent inflation.

Oct 23, 2015

Japan Aso: Demand-boosting steps needed to hit BOJ price goal, not more easing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Finance Minister Taro Aso cast doubt on whether further monetary stimulus could help the Bank of Japan achieve its ambitious 2 percent inflation target, particularly as oil prices and demand stayed low.

Aso’s remarks came as speculation persists that the BOJ may embark on a fresh round of quantitative easing at its policy meeting on Oct. 30 in a bid to hit the price goal next year.

Oct 21, 2015

Japan export growth slows sharply, raising fears of recession

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s annual export growth slowed to a crawl in September as slumping sales in China shrank the volume of shipments, raising fears that weak overseas demand may have pushed the economy into recession.

Ministry of Finance data showed exports rose just 0.6 percent in the year to September, against a 3.4 percent gain expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

Oct 21, 2015

Japan September export growth slows sharply, adds to recession fears

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s annual export growth slowed for the third straight month in September, a worrying sign that overseas sales continued to drag on growth last quarter, adding to fears of a recession.

Ministry of Finance data showed exports rose just 0.6 percent in the year to September, against a 3.4 percent gain expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

Oct 16, 2015

Japan PM Abe presses firms to lift capital spending to revive economy

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Friday urged Japanese firms to help revive the flagging economy by using their hefty cash piles to boost capital expenditures.

The request was made during the first round of talks between cabinet ministers and business leaders on expanding business investments, in a show of government pressure on companies to lift investment needed to generate a virtuous growth cycle.

Oct 16, 2015

Slim majority of Japan firms now favors more BOJ easing: Reuters poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese firms are warming to the idea of further monetary stimulus to help revive growth with most believing that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies are losing momentum, a Reuters poll shows.

In a marked shift, 53 percent of companies are now in favor of further easing, according to this month’s Reuters Corporate Survey. When a similar question was asked in February’s poll, only 28 percent supported more easing with the rest opposed, worried that it would further weaken the yen – already down one third since 2012 – and push up import costs.

Oct 14, 2015

Japan manufacturers’ mood down again amid recession fears: Reuters Tankan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese manufacturers’ confidence worsened for the second straight month and is expected to fade going forward, a Reuters poll showed, adding to lingering fears of a recession and keeping policymakers under pressure to deploy fresh stimulus.

Service-sector sentiment bounced from the prior month’s fall but is seen worsening again over the next three months, in a sign of the fragility in private consumption which accounts for roughly 60 percent of the economy.

Oct 6, 2015

Japan, China, South Korea discussing three-way meeting in Lima: Aso

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan, China and South Korea are discussing a possible trilateral meeting of their finance ministers in Peru this week, Finance Minister Taro Aso said, which could pave the way for a summit among the countries to soothe strained relations.

Aso also said he would hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Lou Jiwei on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of 20 finance leaders to be held in Lima this week.