The Japanese government has given a weak assessment of its economy. Reuters reports:
Japan's government said on Friday that there was "a high possibility" that the economy has slipped back into a recession after an index of economic indicators fell for a seventh straight month in October...
The index of coincident economic indicators fell a preliminary 0.9 point in October from the previous month, the Cabinet Office said on Friday.
On a more positive note, the index of leading economic indicators rose 0.9 point in October.
Elsewhere in the world the economic data on Friday were mixed.
In the US, employment increased by 146,000 in November, helping bring the unemployment rate down to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in October.
However, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index fell sharply to 74.5 in December from 82.7 in November.