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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Japan Struggling

Bloomberg reports:

Japan’s unemployment rate rose to a record 5.7 percent in July and deflation worsened, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Taro Aso on the eve of an election that polls indicate his ruling Liberal Democratic Party will lose.

The jobless rate surpassed the previous worst of 5.5 percent last seen in April 2003, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted an increase to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent in June. Consumer prices dropped an unprecedented 2.2 percent from a year earlier.
Unprecedented is right. Japan is experiencing full blown deflation with prices of 9 of the 10 major groups down year over year.

And here's the jobless rate. As can be seen, the 5.7% record jobless rate is hiding the relative struggles of the younger demographic.

Which may cause profound leadership changes. Back to Bloomberg:
Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan may end the LDP’s 54-year grip on power as jobs vanish in the wake of the country’s worst postwar recession. Household spending slid 2 percent last month, indicating Aso’s cash handouts as part of a 25 trillion yen ($267 billion) stimulus plan are failing to spur demand among consumers whose wages are falling.
Source: Stat.Go.JP