Trade deal reduces the risk of US car tariffs

The trade deal that the US and Japan have negotiated won’t provide major benefits for Japan’s economy. And while it seems to have reduced the risk that the US imposes any tariffs on Japanese car imports, the deal faces an uncertain future in the US Congress.
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 Update

RBA may make QE more flexible

We now expect the RBA to refrain from announcing a target for the overall amount of bond purchases at the July meeting while keeping the weekly pace of purchases unchanged at $5bn. A more flexible approach to bond-buying would make it easier for the Bank to end QE by mid-2022 as we anticipate.

8 June 2021

Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

Solid Q1 GDP more than makes up for Q2 weakness

The strong rise in GDP in Q1 has prompted us to revise up our GDP forecasts for this year. And while the Victoria lockdown will weigh on consumption growth in Q2, sentiment is holding up so we expect consumption to rebound in Q3 once the lockdown is lifted. Finally, soaring demand for housing is driving record capacity constraints in the construction industry. With the border likely to remain closed until the middle of next year, construction firms will find it difficult to alleviate the labour shortages they are facing.

4 June 2021

Japan Economics Weekly

Industry to benefit from recovery in capital spending

The slump in retail sales in April suggests that consumer spending may have fallen further during the third state of emergency. However, the medical situation is improving and the vaccination rollout is accelerating. And Japan’s traditional growth engine, its large manufacturing sector, is roaring back to life as industrial output is now above pre-virus levels. While GDP growth this year will fall short of expectations, we think it will be stronger than most anticipate in 2022.

4 June 2021
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