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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.
Marcel Thieliant Senior Japan, Australia & New Zealand Economist
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More from Japan

Japan Economics Weekly

Virus fears waning, Bank of Japan plans could change

We doubt that the spike in mobility during Golden Week is a harbinger of a rapid rebound in consumer spending. Mounting concerns about rising living costs and lingering virus fears among the elderly will keep the savings rate well above pre-virus levels. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan this week ruled out widening the tolerance band around its 10-year yield target. However, markets remain unconvinced as yields continue to trade close to the ceiling of the band. We still expect the Bank to come under renewed pressure to defend the target, eventually forcing it to widen the tolerance band.  

13 May 2022

Japan Economics Update

Large pot of pandemic savings to collect dust

The hit to household incomes from higher inflation will be much smaller in Japan than elsewhere and consumers have plenty of pandemic forced savings to tap into to sustain spending. But we nonetheless expect the rebound in consumption to disappoint over the coming months as consumers are spooked by rare price hikes to everyday items and some remain wary of catching the virus. China Drop-In (12th May, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Join our China and Markets economists for a 20-minute discussion about near to long-term economic challenges, from zero-COVID disruptions to US-China decoupling. Register now.

11 May 2022

Japan Data Response

Japan Labour Cash Earnings (Mar. 22)

Nominal wage growth stayed at 1.2% in March and we think it could touch 2% over the coming months as overtime and bonus payments get back to their pre-virus levels. But with base pay growth still weak, we think overall wage growth will fall back to 1% before long. China Drop-In (12th May, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Join our China and Markets economists for a 20-minute discussion about near to long-term economic challenges, from zero-COVID disruptions to US-China decoupling. Register now.

9 May 2022

More from Marcel Thieliant

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

Japan Economics Update

Rising prices won’t prevent rebound in consumption

The weaker yen and higher energy prices will reduce the purchasing power of households a bit. But with the household savings rate still very high, this won’t prevent a strong rebound in services spending.

26 October 2021

Japan Economics Weekly

Carmakers will struggle even after shortages abate

The disruptions to supply chains from Delta outbreaks across Southeast Asia that resulted in another big drop in car exports in September will ease soon. However, carmakers are responding with lower capital spending and are lagging their US and European counterparts in electric vehicle sales. The upshot is that the sector won’t return to former glory.

22 October 2021
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