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Yoshiaki Nohara
Japan swung to a trade deficit of ¥462.5 billion in April due to higher crude oil prices and a weak yen.
BUSINESS / Economy
May 22, 2024
Japan trade deficit shows weak yen is weighing on economy
The trade balance in April registered a ¥462.5 billion deficit, flipping from a ¥387 billion surplus.
Japan's gross domestic product shrank at an annualized pace of 2% in the three months through March.
BUSINESS / Economy
May 16, 2024
Japan’s economy contracts as consumers and firms cut spending
Gross domestic product contracted at an annualized pace of 2% in the three months through March.
Gloomy economic conditions, especially weak consumption, raise questions over whether the Bank of Japan will be able to take further steps toward policy normalization.
BUSINESS / Economy
May 15, 2024
Japan GDP data expected to show contraction for first quarter
The preliminary data is expected to show that spending by consumers and companies fell, while net exports dragged on growth for the first time in a year.
U.S. President Joe Biden touts the economic benefits of semiconductor investment at Intel’s Ocotillo Campus in Chandler, Arizona, on March 20.
BUSINESS / Tech
May 13, 2024
Global chips battle intensifies with $81 billion subsidy surge
The rush of funding has hardened battle lines in the U.S.-China trade war, including in nations like Japan.
People in a shopping district in Tokyo in March
BUSINESS / Economy
May 10, 2024
Japan’s households cut outlays as inflation remains sticky
Real outlays decreased 1.2% in March from a year before, falling for the 13th consecutive month.
Real wages fell 2.5% from a year earlier in March, marking the 24th straight month of declines, exacerbated by a 9.4% drop in bonuses.
BUSINESS / Economy
May 9, 2024
Real wages fell for 24th month in March, dented by 9.4% decline in bonuses
Data for full-time workers that avoid sampling problems and exclude bonuses and overtime pay grew by 2.3%, above 2% for the seventh month.
Japan's industrial production rose 3.8% in March from February, as demand picked up after two straight months of declines.
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 30, 2024
Japan’s factory output records weakest quarter since pandemic
The yen’s plunge to a fresh 34-year low versus the dollar could spur a resurgence of cost-push inflation via higher costs for imports of food and energy.
Core inflation in Japan's capital slowed much more than expected in April, falling below the central bank's 2% target.
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 26, 2024
Tokyo inflation slows sharply as education subsidy cuts outlays
A plunge in costs for public and private high schools shaved around half a percentage point from the overall figure, the internal affairs ministry said.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tours a new Toyota battery factory in Liberty, North Carolina, with state Gov. Roy Cooper (second from right) on Friday.
BUSINESS
Apr 13, 2024
Kishida touts Japan’s investments in U.S. with visit to swing-state Toyota plant
The prime minister visited the North Carolina plant where Toyota last year injected an additional $8 billion to make batteries for electric vehicles.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida toast during an official state dinner at the White House in Washington on Wednesday.
BUSINESS
Apr 11, 2024
Business leaders attend Biden's state dinner for Kishida to deepen ties
Kishida's visit has seen the leaders unveil a number of initiatives to strengthen partnerships and investment in technology.
Microsoft President Brad Smith
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 10, 2024
Microsoft to invest $2.9 billion to boost AI and cloud in Japan
The company will also open a lab in Japan focused on AI and robotics, while deepening its cybersecurity collaboration with the Japanese government.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during an interview at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo on Friday, ahead of his visit to the United States this week.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 8, 2024
Kishida advocates wider defense network ahead of U.S. trip
The Japanese leader said he would push ahead on cooperation with like-minded countries on security, including on defense equipment and technology.
Japanese household spending fell 0.5% in February from a year earlier, down for a 12th straight month, indicating the impact of persistent price increases on spending patterns.
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 5, 2024
Japan’s households continue to cut outlays as inflation hits
Outlays decreased 0.5% in February from a year ago, sliding for a 12th consecutive month.
Akira Amari, a senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker, says Nippon Steel’s acquisition of United States Steel would help counter China’s dominance in steel-making.
BUSINESS / Economy
Apr 2, 2024
Japanese lawmaker says U.S. steel deal would help counter China risks
The $14.1 billion deal would be a win-win for both companies and both economies, said former minister Akira Amari.
Consumer prices in Japan rose 2.8% in February from a year ago, with the pace speeding up from 2% in January, even though there have been pockets of weakness in consumer demand.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 22, 2024
Japan’s speedier inflation pace keeps BOJ’s next move in focus
Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 2.8% in February from a year ago, with the pace speeding up from 2% in January.
Japan’s exports grew for a third consecutive month in February on the back of robust shipments of vehicles.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 21, 2024
Japan’s exports rise for third straight month led by autos
The economy is projected to record another small expansion in the current quarter, as the weak yen is expected to continue offering support to exporters.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. A survey by Bloomberg indicates a majority of analysts surveyed doesn’t expect another rate hike as a base case, but plenty of others are warning that the BOJ may not be finished.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 20, 2024
Investors and economists split on whether BOJ will raise rates again
By moving in March instead of the consensus view of April, Gov. Kazuo Ueda secured space to raise borrowing costs again if data supports the case.
Japan revised economic data higher, reversing a quarterly contraction in October-December 2023 into positive growth and avoiding a technical recession.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 11, 2024
Japan’s economy avoids recession one week before BOJ meeting
The government made an upward revision to capital investment figures to reflect 2% growth, which in turn sent the country's GDP into positive territory.
Japan's unemployment rate fell to 2.4% in January from 2.5% in the previous month, with economists suggesting that the current recession is making firms hesitant to increase job postings.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 1, 2024
Japan’s tight labor market to keep upward pressure on wages
The unemployment rate fell to 2.4% from a revised 2.5% a month earlier, the internal affairs ministry reported Friday.
Japan's consumer price index for January rose 2% from a year ago, topping estimates to support the Bank of Japan's move to end its negative interest rate policy.
BUSINESS / Economy
Feb 27, 2024
January inflation topped forecasts, data shows, supporting BOJ policy shift
Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 2% from a year ago, while prices of processed food gained 5.9% and prices for lodging increased by 27%.

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