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GDP to rebound in Q3 despite restrictions in Tokyo

While new infections in Tokyo have picked up, the fourth state of emergency in the capital is partly a political move designed to placate fears that the Tokyo Olympics will trigger yet another virus wave. With the health situation in other prefectures less problematic and the bulk of the elderly vaccinated by the end of the month, we assume that other prefectures will stick to light touch quasi-emergency measures.
Marcel Thieliant Senior Japan, Australia & New Zealand Economist
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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

Australia & New Zealand Economics Weekly

RBA’s central scenario may signal rate hikes soon

The RBA began shifting the stance of monetary policy this week by watering down its commitment to keep rates on hold for the foreseeable future. The Bank’s central scenario is still consistent with rates remaining on hold until 2024, but the Bank has consistently underestimated the pace of the economic rebound. The Bank will probably revise up its forecasts again in August and we think it will start to hike rates in early-2023.

9 July 2021

Japan Economics Weekly

Pandemic unlikely to herald period of higher inflation

With producer prices rising at their fastest pace in years and goods shortages showing no signs of easing, the risks to inflation seem to be tilted to the upside. However, we aren’t convinced that a prolonged period of stronger consumer price inflation is on the cards and only expect underlying inflation to average 0.7% next year.

9 July 2021

Japan Economic Outlook

Faster vaccine campaign allows rapid rebound

Japan’s lagging vaccine rollout has finally reached cruising speed, which should allow a rapid recovery in activity over the second half of the year. The labour market may soon be as tight as it was before the pandemic, but we expect this year’s jump in inflation to be short-lived. As such, the Bank of Japan will keep policy loose for the foreseeable future.

7 July 2021
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