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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.
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

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

Australia & New Zealand Economics Focus

Australia- Wage growth will approach 3% by end-2022

A renewed tightening of the labour market next year means that wage growth will accelerate further. That pick-up will be underpinned by a stronger minimum wage hike, the lifting of caps on public sector wage growth and more employees switching jobs. And if it is accompanied by faster underlying inflation, it should be enough to prompt the RBA to lift interest rates by early-2023.

21 October 2021

Australia & New Zealand Economic Outlook

Rising inflationary pressures to prompt tightening

Domestic demand is set to rebound from recent lockdowns and labour markets should remain tight. Meanwhile, soaring energy and food prices will keep inflation high for a prolonged period. To be sure, the Reserve Bank of Australia won’t respond to high headline inflation until wage growth picks up in earnest. However, with severe staff shortages and limited immigration, the bargaining position of workers is strong and we expect Australia’s wage growth to reach 3% by the end of next year. We expect the RBNZ to hike rates to 1.5% next year and the RBA to start lifting rates in early-2023.

14 October 2021
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