Latest economic figures disappoint
JAPAN’S factory output and retail sales were flat last month, data showed yesterday, painting a bleak picture for the world’s number-three economy as the central bank kicks off a policy meeting.
The lukewarm readings come on the heels of disappointing inflation figures last week and point to a tepid expansion in July-September economic growth, analysts said.
Japan’s third-quarter growth figures are due later this month.
The government data showed Japan’s industrial output for September was unchanged from the previous month, weighed by slower production of electronic components, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
That was well short of a market forecast for a 0.9 percent rise after an on-month expansion in August. Retail sales were also unchanged, missing forecasts of a 0.2pc rise.
The Bank of Japan kicked off a twoday meeting with a policy announcement expected today.
The BoJ has repeatedly pledged to continue monetary easing as needed until inflation reaches a 2pc target, a cornerstone of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revival policy.
More than three years on, however, doubts are growing over Mr Abe’s faltering bid to kickstart growth and conquer a long battle against deflation.
Japan’s economy contracted in the last three months of 2015, before bouncing back in January-March with a 0.5pc rise on-quarter and then a 0.2pc expansion in April-June. –