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Plunging unemployment not enough for the BoJ

The recent plunge in Japan’s jobless rate suggests that wage growth will pick up faster than we had been anticipating. But we suspect that unemployment is now close to a floor so wage growth may never reach the rates necessary to meet the BoJ’s 2% inflation target.
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Japan Data Response

Japan Flash PMIs (May 2022)

While the flash manufacturing PMI was little changed in May, the details suggest that supply shortages worsened yet again, weighing on output and lifting prices.

24 May 2022

Japan Chart Book

Tweak to Yield Curve Control still on the table

The Bank of Japan’s attempt to relieve pressure on the Yield Curve Control framework by offering to buy an unlimited amount of 10-year Japanese government bonds (JGBs) at yields of 0.25% for as long as necessary appears to have done the trick so far. Despite offering to do so every working day, the Bank hasn’t yet had to buy any bonds through the fixed rate method in May. The Bank’s latest confidence trick – along with the recent fall in global yields – has dissuaded the bond vigilantes for now. However, we think that the Bank will have to defend its ceiling with heavy purchases once again if – as we expect – US Treasury yields start rising again. And media reports suggests that some of the public are pinning blame on the BoJ for rising prices stemming from a weaker yen. As such, there’s still a good chance that the BoJ will ultimately decide to relieve pressure by widening its tolerance band on 10-year yields from the current ±0.25% to ±0.50% later this year.

23 May 2022

Japan Economics Weekly

Japan to outperform as cost of living rising less sharply

GDP shrank yet again in Q1 as the Omicron wave brought the recovery in consumption to a halt. However, services spending was more resilient than we had anticipated and there are good reasons to think that Japan’s economy will outperform other large advanced economies over the coming quarters.  

20 May 2022

More from Capital Economics Economist

UK Commercial Property Data Response

RICS Construction Market Survey (Q3)

The deterioration in workload expectations is consistent with the fact that, with Brexit uncertainty prolonged and commercial property values expected to fall, a strong increase in the construction activity is unlikely.

7 November 2019

European Data Response

German Industrial Production (May)

May’s industrial data add to the evidence that the weakness in the sector earlier in the year was at least partly down to temporary factors. Overall, the German economy has clearly shifted down a gear this year, but we expect growth to remain fairly strong.

6 July 2018

European Data Response

Euro-zone Retail Sales (May)

May’s euro-zone retail sales data were a little weaker than expected, but still imply that the consumer sector fared better in Q2 than in Q1. And looking ahead, we think that household spending will remain a key driver of economic growth in the region.

3 July 2018
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