Saturday, 26 December 2009

Japanese unemployment up, government unveils record budget

Like most of the rest of the world, Japan's economy is recovering but remains fragile. From AFP/CNA:

Worries mounted Friday that Japan's economic recovery is running out of steam as data showed the jobless rate rising and deflation continuing to hobble the world's number two economy.

The unemployment rate climbed to 5.2 percent in November from 5.1 percent in October, worsening for the first time in four months, the government said.

Core consumer prices fell 1.7 percent in November from a year earlier, the ninth straight month of drops, fanning worries that deflation could jeopardise a fragile recovery from the worst recession in decades.

Still, other data show that the recovery remains on track.

Household spending rose 2.2 percent in November from a year earlier, beating market expectations for a rise of 0.3 percent, the government reported.

And data earlier this week had also been positive. From the WSJ on Monday:

Japan posted a bigger-than-expected 373.9 billion yen ($4.12 billion) trade surplus in November due to the first rise in exports to Asia in more than a year, helping to ease concerns about the fragility of the country's economic recovery.

Other Japanese government data released Monday showed that the all-industry activity index, a key measures of economic output, rose a seasonally adjusted 1.2% in October from the previous month to mark the first gain in two months.

Nevertheless, the Japanese government is taking no chances. From AFP/CNA:

Japan on Friday unveiled a record trillion-dollar budget for next year despite growing worries about its debt mountain, seeking to revive an economy hit by its worst downturn in decades...

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's three-month-old government approved an unprecedented budget worth 92.3 trillion yen (1.0 trillion dollars) for the next financial year starting in April.

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