Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Asia bottoming?

The economic reports out from Asia today boost hope that the worst is over.

In Japan, the leading index rose in March, Bloomberg reports.

Japan’s deepest recession since 1945 may be abating, the nation’s broadest indicator of the outlook for the economy showed.

The leading index, a composite of 12 statistics including production, consumer confidence and stock prices, rose to 76.6 in March from a revised 74.5 in February, the first advance in six months, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo today. The median estimate of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for 77.

Bloomberg also reports some positive news from China.

China’s investment in factories and property surged by more than economists forecast in response to the government’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package, countering a deepening slump in exports.

Urban fixed-asset investment climbed 30.5 percent in the four months to the end of April from a year earlier, from 28.6 percent in the first three months, the statistics bureau said today in Beijing. Overseas shipments declined 22.6 percent in April from a year earlier, the customs bureau said...

Imports dropped 23 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $13.14 billion, less than the previous month and a year earlier.

Seasonally adjusted exports rose 6.9 percent from the previous month, the customs bureau said.

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