Weak Japanese Data Heightens Stimulus Talk

A series of weak Japanese data releases sent the Yen lower and heightened talk of further stimulus measures needing to be implemented by the Bank of Japan.

Retail Sales

In a report issued by the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry, official data showed on Monday that Japanese retail sales increased less-than-expected in February. Retail sales in Japan increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.5%, up from the -0.1% recorded in January. Although an increase, the figure disappointed markets after analysts had been expecting retail sales to increase at annual rate of to 1.7% for last month.

Unemployment Rate

In a report issued the Statistics Bureau last night, official data showed that Japan’s unemployment rate increased unexpectedly in February. The percentage of the total work force that is out of work and actively looking for employment in February, increased to a seasonally adjusted  rate of 3.3%, up from the 3.2% recorded in January. This came after analysts had been expecting the Japanese rate of unemployment to stay at 3.2% for last month.

Household Spending

In a report issued by the Statistics Bureau, official data showed on Monday that household spending in the world’s third largest economy increased at a rate more than had been expected for last month.  Japanese Household Spending increased to a seasonally adjusted figure of 1.2%, a big leap from the -3.1%recorded  in the preceding month. This surprisingly good figures came after analysts had been expecting Japanese Household Spending to show an increase to -1.5% in February.

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Daniel Simmons