Current state of economy

Bloomberg (“Deflation Deepens…“) has an update on Japan’s economy, reflecting the slide of the global economy towards recession as growth slows in China and elsewhere in Asia, ditto in Brazil, and turns negative in the EU while remaining modest in the US.

Now I don’t like to read much into a one-month blip in the inflation (er, deflation) rate, and unemployment hasn’t risen (I’ve not looked at the raw data. Indeed, the article mentions that inflation fell because oil prices are down, not something that can be thought of as bad news. And what I want to see are employment numbers (and youth-specific unemployment data), not the “headline” figure.

The focus as well is as manufacturing. How relevant is that to Japan? (Hint: finding out is a job for my students.) In addition, the yen strengthened – so what? (Ditto: how, if at all, does the yen-dollar exchange rate matter much for Japan?)

All for now.

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