Asia

  • 2020-07-09 01:36


    --Second Straight Meet All Nine Regions Cut View

    TOKYO (MNI) - All nine of Japan's regions lowered their economic assessment from three months ago, as the coronavirus impacted personal spending, production and capital investment, the Bank of Japan's quarterly regional economic report showed Thursday.

    It is the second straight time that all nine regions lowered their assessment from their previous meeting.

    "According to assessments from regions across Japan, all nine regions revised down their assessments from the previous ones, as was the case in April 2020,due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and reported that their economy had deteriorated or had been in a severe situation," the July report said.

    Many branch managers noted the drop in the three m

  • 2020-07-08 22:00


    TOKYO (MNI) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has maintained his cautious view that economic conditions in Japan are expected to remain severe due to the impact of the coronavirus.

    "Looking ahead, economic activities are expected to resume but (the) severe situation will likely continue for the time being due to the infectious disease," Kuroda said at the opening of the quarterly branch managers' meeting on Thursday.

    He also said the BOJ will not hesitate to take additional policy easing measures if they are necessary to support the economy, while keeping a close eye on the impact of the coronavirus.

    However Kuroda did not elaborate on when or how the bank would consider additional policy easing.

    --MONETARY POLICY

    Kuroda said the BOJ continues to

  • 2020-07-08 02:31


    --BOJ Officials See Homeworking May Lead To Job Losses

    TOKYO (MNI) - The BOJ sees the labor market worsening from current levels, even if the economy recovers through H2, pushing the unemployment rate higher and worsening the output gap.

    At present, the BOJ will not take additional policy easing measures, believing recent measures to get financing in place for small and medium-sized companies will offer at least some support for employees, MNI understands.

    Pre-pandemic, the BOJ highlighted the tightness of labor market condition, or labor shortages, was, along with an ageing population, in part a bi-product of accommodative policy and helped keep upward pressure on wages and inflation.

    One concern is that an increase in unemployment levels will wei

  • 2020-07-08 01:27


    --Japan June Econ Watchers Current Index 38.8; May 15.5
    --Japan Govt Ups View: Improvement of Sentiment to continue

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's current sentiment index rose for the second straight month in June, boosted by a pick-up in eating and drinking services, retail sales and general services, a key government survey released Wednesday showed.

    The survey indicates whether respondents with jobs most sensitive to economic conditions -- taxi and truck drivers, department-store sales staff and restaurant and shop owners -- think economic conditions have improved or worsened over the last three months.

    These are the key points from the latest Economy Watchers Survey, conducted by the Cabinet Office between June 25 and June 30.

    --The Economy Watchers sentiment index for

  • 2020-07-03 02:02


    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's positive output gap has been estimated at 0.29 percentage points in Q1, sharply narrowing from 1.07 pp in Q4, the Bank of Japan said Friday.

    The output gap is expected to narrow further in the coming quarters as the labor market shortage has eased.

    --The positive output gap below 1.00 pp was the first since Q3 2017 when it

    was at +0.85 pp.

    --The result was the 14th straight quarter with a positive output gap, which, in theory, should increase pressure on consumer prices and inflation expectations, albeit with a lag of a few quarters.

    --The BOJ's estimate of the output gap, based on capital and labour stocks, was wider than the Cabinet Office's latest estimate at -2.4 pp, a figure based on revised Q1 GDP data of a 0.6% fall q/q, or an annualize

  • 2020-07-01 05:26


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan will need to take action swiftly if needed as it keeps a close eye on economy and virus spread, incoming board member, Toyoaki Nakamura, said Wednesday.

    However, he doesn't see the need for the BOJ to take additional action at present.

    "The BOJ must provide necessary liquidity in order to prevent firms from facing (cash) problems," Nakamura, a former director of Hitachi, told reporters after taking office earlier in the day.

    The economic climate remains severe as demand had disappeared due to the spread of the coronavirus, he said.

    It is unlikely the economy will return to levels seen 2019 immediately but overall the economy is expected to rise on a q/q basis.

    --INFLATION TARGET

    Nakamura said it was appropriate for t

  • 2020-07-01 02:03


    --Japan June Consumer Confidence Index 28.0 Vs May 24.0
    --Japan Govt Ups View: Remains Severe But Sign of Recovering

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's consumer confidence index rose for a second straight month in June to a seasonally adjusted 28.4 from 24.0 in May, the latest Consumer Confidence Survey published by the Cabinet Office showed Wednesday.

    --Consumers were more optimistic on all four key sentiment sectors; overall economic well-being, labor market condition, income conditions, and the next six months would be good time to buy durable goods.

    --The Cabinet Office upgraded its assessment from the previous month, saying consumer confidence remains severe but showed signs of recovering.

    --The sub-index on asset prices, not included in calculating overall consumer confid

  • 2020-06-30 20:48


    --Firms 1-Yr Infln Rate Outlook at 0.3%; 0.5% in March
    --Firms 3-Yr Infln Outlook 0.7%; 0.8% in Mar, 5-Yr Infln Rate 0.9% v 1.0%

    TOKYO (MNI) - The inflation outlook among Japanese companies fell from three months ago, indicating an expectation consumer prices will remain muted, the Bank of Japan's June Tankan survey released Wednesday showed.

    The survey was conducted from May 28 to June 30.

    The key points from the inflation outlook section of the Tankan follow.

    --On average, companies saw the pace of increase in consumer prices for one-, three- and five-years ahead lower than three months ago.

    --Firms on average expect the annual consumer inflation rate at 0.3% a year from now, down from 0.5% in March, a 0.7% rise three years out and a 0.9% rise five years ah

  • 2020-06-30 20:43


    TOKYO (MNI) - Japanese business sentiment worsened from three months ago, as expected, as uncertainties and lower corporate profits triggered by the spread of the coronavirus weighed on the outlook, the Bank of Japan's June Tankan Business Survey shows.

    But many firms, especially the larger ones, expect sentiment to improve three months ahead as economic activities restart as restrictions ease, the survey published Wednesday shows.

    The Tankan also showed capital investment plans by major and smaller firms were revised down and now sit below the historical averages.

    The key points from the survey:

    --The diffusion index for sentiment among major manufacturers stood at -34 in June, down from -8 in March, the sixth straight drop, now at the lowest level since June

  • 2020-06-30 04:36


    --BOJ Ups Upper End of Short-, Medium-Term JGB Buying, Keeps Ops Frequency

    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan said Tuesday it will increase the upper end of its short-, medium- and long-term government bond buying operations in July but left the frequency of all bond buying operations unchanged.

    The upper end of short-term JGB buying operations was increased to JPY600 billion in July from JPY500 billion and the upper end of medium-term bond buying was also increased to JPY500 billion from JPY450 billion in June.

    Also, the upper end of long-term bond buying was increased to JPY600 billion in July from JPY550 billion in June.