UBS | We believe China and Japan will play significant roles as regional economic patrons over the next few years. We estimate the amount of patro – dollars, namely China’s outward direct investment in the ‘One Belt One Road’ regions, will exceed US$200bn in 2016 – 18.
MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | In a blow to PM Shinzo Abe, the Japanese inflation rate fell to its lowest level in over a year in November (0.7% from a 0.9% rise the previous month, according to government data released Friday), complicating efforts of the central bank to end more than a decade of chronic price falls. Does this mean, as stimulus sceptics put it, that the Abenomics are doomed? Advisor to the new government and one of the 100 Most Influential People for Japan according to Nikkei Business, William H. Saito believes we have been quick to judge their strategy. As he explained to me, they have “many plan B’s left.”
MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | When many were speaking of a new Japanese recession and the failure of Shinzo Abe’s bold Keynesian policy, his Liberal Democrat Party obtained a sweeping victory at the polls on Sunday. In Europe, the Abenomics are in austerity fans’ crosshairs because if these policies happen to work they would look ridiculous. They were delighted when Japan’s GDP contracted in 3Q. But I’ve been following the Nippon economy for some time and I don’t really rust quarterly figures.
LONDON | Barclays analysts | The post-election challenge for Abenomics will be how to promote a transition from a favourable turn in expectations to the real economy (real GDP). For example, JPY depreciation has boosted earnings and led to an improvement in business sentiment (expectations), but export volume remains sluggish, suggesting it has not given a boost to the real economy (real GDP).
MADRID | The Corner | The Japanese economy unexpectedly entered recession in the third quarter, just after the GDP decreased by an annualised pace of 1.6 per cent, versus forecasts that it would rebound by 2.2 per cent. Japan contracted by 0.4% in the 3Q14, leaving the country in a technical recession, which drove the Nikkei to near 3% losses and raised serious questions about the planned sales tax hike next year.
By Kyohei Morita, Yuichiro Nagai, James Barber, and the CFA at Barclays | The BoJ shocked the markets with further easing on Halloween. The actual effect on the economy will likely be less direct. The weaker JPY and lower real interest rates have not boosted export volumes and private capex since the start of QQE, and this may not change in the near future. However, consumer spending could draw support from wealth effects and higher wages linked to stronger exporter profits under JPY depreciation
LONDON | By Barclays analysts | There appears to be increasing market doubt over the sustainability of the “Japan trade”. Year- to-date, the yen has rallied more than 3%, while the Nikkei is down 11%, placing it among the worst performing indices of the year. This is due in part to concerns over the impact of the forthcoming fiscal drag as the VAT hike takes effect on April 1st.