Japan Economic Forecast

Japan Economic Outlook

June 26, 2018

Although the economy appears to be recovering from the soft patch in Q1, recent data suggests that the rebound will be weaker than expected. Despite remaining firmly entrenched in positive territory, the Q2 average for the manufacturing PMI was lower than in Q1, likely due to rising global trade uncertainty. Moreover, consumer confidence remains constrained by disappointing income growth. Export growth remained relatively robust in the first two months of Q2. However, rising trade protectionism in the United States, which enacted tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Japan, and evidence that the global tech cycle likely peaked in Q1 pose downside risks to Japan’s external sector. Meanwhile, the Japanese cabinet approved on 15 June a new mid-term fiscal plan that pushes back from 2020 to 2025 the goal of achieving a primary budget balance and removes an important spending cap. While the plan was widely expected, it delays efforts to reduce the country’s massive public imbalances.

Japan Economic Growth

Japan will continue to benefit from the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) ultra-loose monetary policy and a tightening labor market. Moreover, investment should remain robust in the wake of works related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There are, however, notable downside risks: Rising protectionism could undermine the performance of the all-important external sector. Moreover, mounting geopolitical risks threaten to strengthen the yen. Met the why particular panelists see the economy growing 1.1% in 2018, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 1.0% in 2019.

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Japan Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield0.05-4.41 %Jul 13
Exchange Rate112.4-0.35 %Jul 13
Stock Market22,5970.11 %Jul 13

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Japan Economic News

  • Japan: Machinery orders decline in May

    July 11, 2018

    Although core machinery orders—a leading indicator of capital spending over a three- to six-month period—contracted in May, the fall was weaker-than-expected, suggesting that capital expenditure will gain steam further down the road.

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  • Japan: Business confidence weakens in Q2

    July 2, 2018

    According to the Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan business survey, sentiment among large manufacturers fell in the second quarter of 2018, suggesting economic momentum has yet to gain traction following a weak first quarter.

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  • Japan: Industrial production falls in May

    June 29, 2018

    Industrial production contracted 0.2% on a month-on-month and seasonally-adjusted basis in May, contrasting April’s revised 0.5% increase (previously reported: +0.3% month-on-month).

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  • Japan: Consumer confidence declines marginally in June

    June 29, 2018

    Consumer sentiment inched down to 43.7 in June from 43.8 in May, coming in just below market expectations of a stable print.

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  • Japan: Core inflation stable in May

    June 22, 2018

    The core consumer price index rose 0.1% in month-on-month seasonally-adjusted terms in May, reversing April’s 0.1% fall. Core inflation was steady at 0.7% in May, unchanged from April and in line with market expectations.

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