Business Topics

Sentiment up but outlook turns sour

Apr 1, 2014

Sentiment up but outlook turns sour

Business confidence among large manufacturers rose in March from three months earlier for the fifth straight quarterly improvement, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday in its “tankan” report, but many companies were wary about prospects amid fear of weakening demand after the consumption tax ...

Apr 1, 2014

Builders aim to double skilled female workers

The Japan Federation of Construction Contractors wants to double the number of skilled female construction workers to some 180,000 within the next five years to help ease the industry’s labor shortage. Construction demand is expected to continue growing on the back of the Tokyo ...

Mar 31, 2014

Manufacturing slumps as tax hike looms large

Japan’s industrial production fell in February, undercutting economists’ forecasts, as the first sales tax hike since 1997 risks stalling the economic recovery. Output fell 2.3 percent from the previous month, the steepest drop in eight months, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said ...

Tax hike, Crimea cloud economy

| Mar 29, 2014

Tax hike, Crimea cloud economy

The first sales tax hike in 17 years and the ongoing geopolitical crisis over Crimea could turn into a double-whammy for Japan's fragile economic revival.

Mar 28, 2014

Jobless rate edges down to 3.6% but offers sag

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February fell 0.1 point from the previous month to 3.6 percent, the lowest since July 2007, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said Friday. It was the first improvement in two months, but the number of new job ...

Mar 28, 2014

Japan's jobless rate drops to 3.6%, lowest since July 2007

The unemployment rate improved to 3.6 percent in February from 3.7 percent the previous month, government data showed Friday, indicating that the expansion in corporate profits has prompted companies to hire more workers on the back of the nascent economic recovery. The figure is ...

Japan and Australia fail to agree on tariffs in FTA talks

Mar 26, 2014

Japan and Australia fail to agree on tariffs in FTA talks

Japan and Australia failed to reach an agreement over cutting tariffs on farm products during ministerial talks Wednesday in Tokyo and could only confirm they will continue the negotiations. After meeting with agriculture minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, his Australian counterpart Andrew Robb told reporters that ...

Cut corporate taxes to keep companies in Japan: Ota

Mar 25, 2014

Cut corporate taxes to keep companies in Japan: Ota

Japan’s corporate taxes should be reduced to attract foreign businesses and persuade domestic companies not to shift operations overseas, a former economic minister who heads a government corporate tax committee said. Even after the yen’s 20 percent decline versus the dollar over the last ...

Economy on track to attain 2% inflation goal: BOJ chief

Mar 22, 2014

Economy on track to attain 2% inflation goal: BOJ chief

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has repeated his determination to follow through on the central bank’s pledge nearly a year ago to raise consumer prices by 2 percent year on year. “We have been taking a stance of doing whatever we can” to ...

New Fed Chairwoman Yellen keeps policy on track

Mar 20, 2014

New Fed Chairwoman Yellen keeps policy on track

New Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen kept the central bank firmly on the path set by predecessor Ben Bernanke on Wednesday, shrugging off recent economic weakness as largely weather-caused. But she also took a crucial step to reshape how the Fed has signaled its ...