Japan jobless rate down as households boost spending

Japan's unemployment rate edged down in June while households loosened their purse strings, offering a glimmer of hope for the nation's fragile economy.

But the positive data was tempered by figures on Monday that showed factory output turned down unexpectedly last month, stoking concerns that turmoil overseas is increasingly hurting the world's third-largest economy.

On Tuesday, official data showed the nation's unemployment rate hit 4.3 percent last month, down from 4.4 percent in May and beating market forecasts that Japan's jobless rate would remain unchanged, Dow Jones Newswires said.

Separate data from the internal affairs ministry showed Japanese households boosted spending last month.

"Japan's job market continued to improve in line with a gradual recovery of the nation's entire economy," said Naoko Ogata, a senior economist at Japan Research Institute.

The job market improvement was partly due to growing demand for jobs in northeastern Japan, where reconstruction was in full swing following last year's quake-tsunami disaster, analysts said.

Average household spending in June came in at 269,810 yen ($3,450), up 1.6 percent from a year earlier, but lower than the 2.9 percent rise forecast by economists.

"All in all, the Japanese economy is still on course to recovery, led by improvement in domestic consumption," Ogata said.

"But an end to auto incentives later this year may dampen consumers' sentiment," she added, referring to temporary government subsidies for eco-friendly cars.

Ogata also said a strong yen was a negative for Japan's economy as it makes exporters products pricier overseas while shrinking the value of firms' foreign earnings.

Many Japanese firms have blamed weaker quarterly earnings on huge foreign-exchange losses.

On Monday, data showed Japan's factory output was down 0.1 percent in June, well short of market expectations for a 1.6 percent rise.

The output decline came amid growing fears about the fiscal situation in Europe -- a major market for Japanese products -- and the strong yen hurting demand.

Japanese industry is also facing major challenges after the country shut down its nuclear reactors in the wake of last year's atomic crisis, with industrial users being asked to make deep cuts in energy consumption.

All 50 of Japan's nuclear power stations were switched off after the March 11 tsunami, which swamped reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and sent them into meltdown.

Despite widespread anti-nuclear sentiment the government later approved a plan to restart two reactors, which have now come online.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options