Fiscal policy will continue to support the recovery

The supplementary budget that PM Kishida will compile by year-end will probably contain only half as much fiscal support as was provided last year. However, given that government spending will still be significantly larger than it was in 2019 even as output returns to its pre-virus level, fiscal policy will remain expansionary. We expect the economy to return to its pre-virus path next year.
Marcel Thieliant Senior Japan, Australia & New Zealand Economist
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Japan Economics Weekly

Restrictions may not last long, key Shunto approaching

With restrictions this week expanded to cover most of Japan’s economy, and surging infections already starting to cause staff shortages in some industries, GDP is only likely to tread water this quarter. But based on experience elsewhere, the Omicron surge may only last another couple of weeks before staff shortages ease and countermeasures start to be lifted again. Meanwhile, reports suggesting that Toyota’s labour union – sometimes seen as a bellwether in wage talks – will seek a sharp rise in bonus payments at this year’s Shunto could be an early sign that wage growth will pick up this year in line with PM Kishida’s wishes.

21 January 2022

Japan Data Response

Japan Consumer Prices (Dec. 2021)

Consumer price inflation reached a two-year high of 0.8% in December, but with energy prices set to fall back, we think that it will peak around 1% by mid-year.

21 January 2022

Japan Data Response

Japan External Trade (Dec. 2021)

Exports were broadly stable in December after a sharp rebound in November. We think they’ll continue to recover at a decent pace this year as external demand for capital goods continues to rise and motor vehicle exports resume their recovery once Omicron waves subside.

20 January 2022

More from Marcel Thieliant

Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

RBA set to ditch yield target next week

The rise in trimmed mean inflation into the RBA’s 2-3% target band for the first time in six years has only added to the aggressive repricing in the outlook for the RBA’s policy rate over the past month. And given that the RBA refrained from intervening this week to prevent the yield on the April 2024 bond from surging far above its 0.10% target, we now expect the Bank to signal that rates will rise before 2024 at next week’s meeting. That means that the yield target will no longer be fit for purpose and we expect it to be ditched altogether.

29 October 2021

Japan Data Response

Japan Retail Sales (Sep. 2021)

While retail sales rebounded in September as the Delta wave ebbed, supply shortages in the car industry may prevent a full recovery until year-end.

28 October 2021

RBA Watch

RBA’s dovish view increasingly under pressure

The acceleration in underlying inflation increases the pressure on the RBA to adjust its forward guidance. But with wage growth still sluggish, we think it will stick to its pledge that rate hikes are unlikely before 2024 at next week’s meeting. We expect price pressures to remain stronger than the Bank and expect the first rate hike in early-2023.

27 October 2021
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