Japan Economic Outlook
October 27, 2020Available data points to an improving but still-subdued panorama in the third quarter, following the sharp contraction sustained by the economy in the second quarter. The unemployment rate hit an over three-year high in August, while consumer confidence remained mired in pessimism, despite improving to its best level since February, likely keeping a lid on the rebound in private consumption in the third quarter. Moreover, the much-studied Tankan business confidence survey for Q3 remained deeply negative, boding ill for capital spending in the period. Turning to Q4, the economy began the period on a muted footing, with the composite PMI remaining deep in contractionary territory in October. Moreover, the recent resurgence in cases abroad could weigh on the external sector in the months ahead.
Japan Economic GrowthGDP is forecast to rebound in 2021 from the sharp downturn this year. Sustained government spending should bolster the recovery in domestic demand, while improving external demand should drive higher exports. However, persistent rates of new Covid-19 infections and a potential worsening of the China-U.S. trade conflict cloud the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists see the economy expanding 2.7% in 2021, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 1.6% in 2022.
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Japan Economic News
November 20, 2020
The Jibun Bank Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—which combines the PMIs of the services and manufacturing sectors—fell to 47.0 in November according to a flash reading, down from October’s final figure of 48.0.
November 18, 2020
Yen-denominated merchandise exports edged down 0.2% on an annual basis in October (September: -4.9% year-on-year).
November 16, 2020
According to a preliminary reading, economic activity bounced back strongly in the third quarter, with GDP increasing 21.4% in seasonally-adjusted annualized terms (SAAR), contrasting the historic 28.8% fall logged in the second quarter.
November 12, 2020
Core machinery orders—which cover the private sector, exclude volatile orders and are a leading indicator for capital spending over the coming three-to-six-month period—fell 4.4% on a month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms in September, which contrasted August's 0.2% increase.
October 30, 2020
Industrial output grew 4.0% month-on-month in seasonally-adjusted terms in September (August: +1.0% mom).