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Friday, November 28, 2014 11:09 AM

Japan Household Spending Down 4%, CPI Drops to 0.9%; Bankruptcies Soar in Yen Collapse

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In spite of the Yen falling 35% since 2011, Japan once again borders on deflation. Please consider Japan’s CPI falls to 0.9%.

Japanese core inflation last month fell below 1 per cent to a 13 month low, just weeks before prime minister Shinzo Abe heads to the polls to garner fresh support to push back a scheduled rise in sales tax.

Core consumer prices, all prices excluding fresh food, slowed to an annual pace of 2.9 per cent growth year-on-year in October, in line with forecasts. Stripped of any impact of the sales tax rise in April, core prices are up 0.9 per cent.

Highlighting the scale of the challenges facing the Abe administration, data released on Friday also showed households further tightening their purse-strings.

Household spending fell 4 per cent year-on-year, the seventh consecutive decline since the national sales tax was raised from 5 to 8 per cent in April. Retail sales dropped 1.4 per cent, reversing two months of gains.

The drop in core inflation comes not even 10 days after Haruhiko Kuroda, Bank of Japan governor, warned that a fall below 1 per cent was “possible”, in a reversal of comments made just four months ago.
Bankruptcies Soar in Yen Collapse

Here's an interesting note regarding bankruptcies that I picked up from ZeroHedge: As Japanese Bankruptcies Soar, Goldman Warns "Further Yen Depreciation Could Be A Net Burden"
According to a recent bankruptcy survey by Tokyo Shoko Research, there were 214 bankruptcies due to the weak yen in January-September 2014, which is 2.4 times the 89 seen in January-September 2013. Far more of the bankruptcies were in the nonmanufacturing sector—81 in transport, 41 in wholesale trade, 19 in services, and 11 in retail—than in the manufacturing sector (44), which is consistent with our analysis based on the input/output tables.

Surprisingly, the number of bankruptcies since 2013 due to yen depreciation far surpasses the number of bankruptcies in 2009-2011 due to yen appreciation.
Bankruptcies Caused by Falling Yen

The Japanese consumer is faced with a falling yen, much higher taxes, and counting taxes prices much higher. The only saving grace for Japan has been falling energy prices.

Yet, prime minister Shinzo Abe Wants inflation and more of it. It's madness.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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