Saturday, 29 June 2013

Japanese industrial production jumps, core consumer prices stop falling

Japanese economic data on Friday were mostly positive.

The Markit/JMMA manufacturing PMI rose to 52.3 in June from 51.5 in May. This indicates that manufacturing activity in Japan expanded in June at the fastest pace since February 2011.

Economic data on Japan for May had also been mostly positive.

Industrial production jumped 2.0 percent in May. It is forecast to decline by 2.4 percent in June but rebound by 3.3 percent in July.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food were unchanged in May from a year earlier, the first time in seven months that prices did not fall.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent in May. However, the jobs-to-applicants ratio rose to 0.90, the highest in five years, from 0.89 in April.

One negative sign was a 1.6 percent fall in household spending in May from a year earlier.

However, elsewhere in the world, a report on Friday showed that German retail sales rose 0.8 percent in May after having fallen 0.1 percent in April. Another report showed that Germany's inflation has also picked up pace, rising to 1.9 percent in June from 1.6 percent in May.

In the US, economic data on Friday were mixed.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 84.1 in June from 84.5 in May. However, the final June reading is higher than the preliminary reading of 82.7.

Another report on Friday showed that the Chicago business barometer fell sharply to 51.6 in June from 58.7 in May. The May reading had been the highest in more than a year though.

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