Monday, 12 June 2006

Japanese data show higher growth, higher prices

Japan's first quarter GDP growth was revised up today. From Bloomberg:

Japan's economy grew at an annual 3.1 percent pace in the first quarter, buoyed by the second- biggest increase in corporate spending since 1990.

The figure for gross domestic product released by the Cabinet Office in Tokyo today was in line with the 3.2 percent forecast of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. It was revised from an initial 1.9 percent estimate made on May 19.

But Japan's growth is being accompanied by upward pressure on producer prices.

An index of prices that companies pay for energy and raw materials climbed 3.3 percent in May from a year ago, the fastest pace since 1981, the Bank of Japan said in a separate report in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 2.8 percent increase.

And imports are surging, cutting the current account surplus. From AFX/Forbes:

Japan's current account surplus in April fell 20.2 pct from a year earlier to 1.28 trln yen, dropping for the first time in two months, the Ministry of Finance said...

Exports surged 11.4 pct to 5.84 trln yen, up for the 29th straight month, while imports jumped 23.2 pct to 5.08 trln yen, the 26th consecutive monthly increase.

The goods and services account posted a surplus of 258.5 bln yen versus a surplus of 481.1 bln a year before.

An end to zero interest rates is still expected by July, although consumer confidence dipped in May.

The consumer confidence index worsened to 49.8 in May from 50.0 in April, the first fall in two months, the Cabinet Office said.

There was also trade and inflation data from China today. From Bloomberg:

China posted a record $13 billion trade surplus in May and inflation accelerated, increasing pressure on the government to allow the yuan to strengthen.

The surplus topped the $12 billion median estimate of 21 economists in a Bloomberg News survey and widened from $10.5 billion in April as exports jumped 25.1 percent. A separate government report showed consumer prices rose 1.4 percent from a year earlier, the most in four months.

No comments:

Post a comment