Business Topics

Jul 14, 2014

Economic data mixed after Japan's sales tax hike

Economic indicators have been sending mixed signals since the consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent in April, with consumer confidence and employment faring well and household spending and capital investment slumping. Although the government and some private-sector economists remain confident the ...

Jul 12, 2014

U.S. monthly surplus augurs low annual deficit

The U.S. government ran a monthly budget surplus in June, putting it on course to record the lowest annual deficit since 2008. The Treasury Department said Friday that its June surplus totaled $71 billion, following a $130 billion deficit in May. The government also ...

Jul 11, 2014

Third-quarter growth may pave way for second stage of tax hike

The economy is likely to grow between July and September at a pace consistent with plans to complete the doubling of the consumption tax to 10 percent in October 2015, a government-affiliated nonprofit group said in a survey. The Japan Center for Economic Research ...

Jul 10, 2014

Energy costs push wholesale prices up 4.6% in June

Wholesale prices climbed 4.6 percent in June from a year earlier, largely due to higher energy costs, the Bank of Japan said Thursday. In notching its 15th consecutive month of growth, the index of corporate goods prices came to 106.3 against the 2010 base ...

May machinery orders plunge a record 19.5%

Jul 10, 2014

May machinery orders plunge a record 19.5%

Japan’s core private-sector machinery orders plunged by a record 19.5 percent in May, the government said Thursday, indicating the first consumption tax hike in 17 years on April 1 is affecting the economic outlook by discouraging companies from beefing up investment. The orders, excluding ...

Restaurateurs, beef and wine vendors hail Australia tariffs deal

Jul 9, 2014

Restaurateurs, beef and wine vendors hail Australia tariffs deal

Japanese restaurant operators, butchers and wine merchants are welcoming the economic partnership agreement signed with Australia on Tuesday, predicting lower prices for imported foodstuffs such as beef and booze. “We may use more Australian beef if tariffs fall,” said an official at Zensho Holdings ...

Jul 9, 2014

WTO heavyweights to launch tariff talks on green goods

Japan and 13 other members of the World Trade Organization said Tuesday that they will start negotiations to cut tariffs on green products such as wind turbines and solar panels. The 14 countries and regions, which includes the United States, the European Union and ...

Jul 8, 2014

Progress made on labor rights issues at Ottawa TPP meeting

Officials from the 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership have made significant progress on the issue of establishing rules for labor rights protection at their ongoing meeting in the Canadian capital, a Japanese official said. Under the TPP initiative, the 12 countries are ...

Current account surplus in the black for fourth straight month

Jul 8, 2014

Current account surplus in the black for fourth straight month

The nation’s current account balance was in the black for the fourth straight month in May, standing at ¥522.8 billion, as imports slid for the first time in 19 months after the April 1 consumption tax hike cooled domestic demand, the government said Tuesday. ...

Jul 7, 2014

Tax hike blurs economic outlook as indicators dip

An index of indicators used to predict future economic conditions fell in May for the fourth straight month May, with the first consumption tax hike in 17 years denting optimism, the government said Monday. The index of leading indicators, which predicts economic developments in ...

Jul 7, 2014

BOJ sanguine on state of regional economies

The Bank of Japan said in a quarterly report Monday that the nation’s nine regional economies are still robust despite downward pressure from the April 1 consumption tax hike. The tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent was expected to dent household and ...