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Asia Economy Last Updated: Oct 9, 2015 - 12:32 AM

Asia Economy

Japan's Labour Market: The internal affairs ministry announced at the end of July that the national employment rate fell to 3.9% in June, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous month. It was the first time that the unemployment rate had dipped to a level below 4% since October 2008, weeks after the Lehman Brothers crash. However, behind the official window dressing is a dysfunctional system of lifers (jobs for life), temps (temporary workers) and banishment rooms known as oidashi-beya. The workforce breakdown in what are officially termed regular and irregular workers is roughly at a ratio of 60:40.

Aug 22, 2013 - 7:08 AM

Asia Economy
The path to prosperity in Asia remains via manufacturing despite gross domestic product (GDP) shares, which show a dominant service region. The service sector is however heterogeneous with both traditional, low productivity services and modern, high-productivity services. In many Asian economies, structural transformation appears as a shift from agriculture into low-productivity service subsectors.
Aug 21, 2013 - 9:04 AM

Asia Economy
China's foreign trade grew 7.8% year-over-year in July, recovering from June's tumble, official data showed Thursday. However, expansion of China's exports and consumption may decelerate further in the second half of the year due to weak overseas and domestic demand, adding headwinds to overall economic growth, a research unit of the country's top economic planning body, forecast on Wednesday.
Aug 8, 2013 - 7:19 AM

Asia Economy
Shanghai, China's commercial capital, on Wednesday experienced its hottest day in at least 140 years, with temperatures of 40.8 degrees Celsius, breaking the record of 40.6 degrees Celsius set on July 26.
Aug 8, 2013 - 6:50 AM

Asia Economy
China's PMI (purchasing managers' index) data for July provided a mixed message with the official index up slightly, with gains in almost all the categories, while also on Thursday, the HSBC Holdings index, produced for the banking giant, showed a further easing. Manufacturing stagnated in India, Indonesia, and  shrunk in South Korea and Australia.
Aug 1, 2013 - 7:28 AM

Asia Economy
Japan’s manufacturing sector entered the third quarter of 2013 with a slower pace of expansion compared to the second quarter. Output rose at the weakest pace in the current five-month sequence of growth whilst new orders and exports expanded for the fifth consecutive month, though at decelerated rates. Meanwhile, data showed manufacturing employment levels had fallen. Official data issued in Tokyo showed that Japan's industrial production dropped a seasonally adjusted 3.3% in June from the previous month, in the first decline in five months, due mainly to weaker output of cars and electronic parts. It was the sharpest fall since March 2011, when it plunged 16.5% in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami disaster, the economy and trade ministry said. However, the ministry maintained its basic assessment in the preliminary report, saying production has shown "signs of picking up at a moderate pace," given that output grew on a quarterly basis in the April-June period, and it will likely mark a sharp rise in July, a ministry official said.
Jul 31, 2013 - 5:57 AM

Asia Economy
A measure of Chinese manufacturing activity fell to an 11-month low in July, suggesting a continued slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. Meanwhile on Tuesday, China banned the construction of government offices for the next 5 years, intensifying the austerity campaign that has included a lending freeze.
Jul 24, 2013 - 8:02 AM

Asia Economy
China’s economy is expected to expand at 7¾% this year - - broadly the same pace as last year - - but the risk of moderation has grown, say IMF economists. In their annual report [pdf] on China’s economy, the economists emphasise the importance of reforms to secure more consumer-based and sustainable growth ahead.. China's annual budget deficit in 2012 was an estimated 10% of GDP (gross domestic product).
Jul 19, 2013 - 6:25 AM

Asia Economy
China’s economy slowed to a 7.5% year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2013, as exports fell coupled with weak retail sales and softer investment.
Jul 15, 2013 - 8:26 AM

Asia Economy
ASEAN, a bloc of 10 nations with an aggregate economic size of US$2.3tn, is planning big changes. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, was established in 1967 and it comprises 10 countries -- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - - with a population of over 600m, roughly half that of China’s or India’s and around  9% of the world’s total. Already today, ASEAN is the 3rd pillar of growth in Asia in addition to China and India, with average GDP growth over the past 15 years at around 6% per annum. The region’s prospects will be much enhanced by an ambitious integration effort which seeks to achieve a single market and production base. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)'s planned launch at the end of 2015 has the potential to be a game changer for Southeast Asia. Today the region is the focus of a meeting in Dublin.
Jul 12, 2013 - 7:49 AM

Asia Economy
China is in a phase when it must rely on economic transformation and upgrading to maintain continuous and healthy development, said Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday. Meanwhile, China's exports took a surprising tumble in June, putting pressure on the growth of the world's second-largest economy.
Jul 10, 2013 - 11:38 AM

Asia Economy
Air pollution cuts life expectancy in China's north by an average of 5.5 years with diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease and strokes at higher rates than elsewhere, according to a new study.
Jul 9, 2013 - 9:02 AM

Asia Economy
China's consumer price index (CPI) jumped to 2.7% year on year in June, up from 2.1% in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. The level was below the government's full-year target of 3.5%.
Jul 9, 2013 - 8:04 AM

Asia Economy
Both the the official Chinese purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which tracks large state-owned firms and the private sector survey that is produced for HSBC Bank, showed declines in China's manufacturing in June.
Jul 1, 2013 - 8:16 AM

Asia Economy
Manufacturing purchasing managers' indexes (PMIs) rose slightly in India and Indonesia in June but conditions deteriorated in South Korea and Taiwan, according to data published today.
Jul 1, 2013 - 6:33 AM

Asia Economy
Japan’s manufacturing sector rounded off a strong second quarter in June, with output, new orders and employment all rising at accelerated rates. However, margins continued to be squeezed by rising input costs caused by the weak yen, while output charges were increased only slightly. The headline seasonally adjusted Markit/JMMA purchasing managers’ index (PMI) - - a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of the performance of the manufacturing economy -- improved to a near two and-a-half year high of 52.3 in June. That was up from May’s 51.5 and signalled a solid strengthening of operating conditions in Japan’s manufacturing sector. The latest reading was the best recorded for 28 months and was indicative of solid growth. The PMI has also posted above the 50.0 no-change mark for four successive months.
Jun 28, 2013 - 6:35 AM

Asia Economy
China's manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers' index) dipped to a nine-month low in June as output and new orders both fell. As Beijing seeks to rebalance the economy from high spending on investment to consumer spending, it is faced by a glut in many manufacturing sectors as overcapacity has been boosted by big public subsidies to undercut the prices of Western rivals.
Jun 20, 2013 - 6:50 AM

Asia Economy
Japanese exports rose in May at the fastest annual rate since 2010 as a weaker yen boosted the economic reform programme of Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister. However, rising imports from China and other Asian nations kept the nation's overall trade balance deep in the red.
Jun 19, 2013 - 7:01 AM

Asia Economy
China released a raft of May statistics over the weekend, which suggest a slowdown in domestic demand. Total social financing, China's widest measure of credit, dropped by about one-third to ¥1.19tn yuan ($194bn) in May from April, the second month of a sharp decline, the People's Bank of China said Sunday. New bank loans, a subset of total social financing, also have fallen substantially in the past two months.
Jun 10, 2013 - 9:41 AM

Asia Economy
The recent strengthening of Japan’s manufacturing sector was sustained in May according to PMI data with output and orders continuing to rise at solid rates. Solid growth filtered through to the labour market, with manufacturers registering a net rise in staffing levels for the first time since last September. In Tokyo today, government data showed that industrial production rose in April but there was little headway made in ending 15 years of deflation, despite massive monetary stimulus and a fall in the yen.
May 31, 2013 - 9:18 AM

Asia Economy
China abolished its "iron rice bowl," or the system of guaranteed work lifetime employment for most civil servants, in government-sponsored public institutions last year, according to a ministry report published on Monday.
May 28, 2013 - 6:51 AM

Asia Economy
The flash HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a seven-month low of 49.6 in May, signaling a contraction in activity. The gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity was down from a final reading of 50.4 in April.
May 23, 2013 - 8:03 AM

Asia Economy
Wages in China continued to rise at a double-digit rate in 2012 despite a slowing of the economy.
May 17, 2013 - 9:03 AM

Asia Economy
Japan today reported strong first quarter growth with a rise in consumer spending and exports signalling that the aggressive monetary policies of Shinzo Abe, prime minister, have boosted confidence and may have a sustained impact on the economy.
May 16, 2013 - 9:03 AM

Asia Economy
China reported today that exports rose 14.7% year on year to ¥1.17tn yuan, while imports surged  ¥16.8% to 1.06tn yuan. The year on year rise in exports in March of 10%, included a small deficit in that month. However doubts have been expressed about the April surge.
May 8, 2013 - 9:08 AM

Asia Economy
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from the PMI (purchasing mangers' index) surveys, fell to 51.3 in April, from March’s 52.5. That signalled a slowdown in economic growth in global emerging markets, to the weakest for over a year-and-a-half. Data broken down by broad sector showed similarly weak growth rates for manufacturing output and services activity.
May 8, 2013 - 8:27 AM

Asia Economy
China's manufacturing sector slowed in April according to PMI data issued Thursday. On Wednesday, China’s official purchasing managers' index (PMI), which mainly focuses on the state-owned enterprise sector, fell to 50.6 in April from 50.9 in March, indicating a slowdown in manufacturing activity that was led by a slump in new export orders. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector while a reading below 50 means that manufacturing activity shrank. Manufacturing also slowed in India, shrunk in Australia and rose in South Korea and Indonesia.
May 2, 2013 - 6:50 AM

Asia Economy
A modest improvement of Japanese manufacturing operating conditions was signalled during April. Led by a strong performance from investment goods producers, solid net rises in output and new orders were recorded. Yen depreciation also supported a gain in new export sales, but also raised the cost of imported goods which in part led to the sharpest rise of input costs for 19 months. Meanwhile, official reports in Tokyo Tuesday showed that Japan's industrial output growth slowed more than forecast in March, while retail sales slowed. Industrial production rose 0.2% month-on-month in March decelerating from the 0.6% rise in February, preliminary data from the ministry of trade and industry showed. Production was up for a fourth consecutive month.
Apr 30, 2013 - 7:39 AM

Asia Economy
China’s manufacturing is expanding at a slower pace in April in response to weakness in global and domestic demand, fueling worries that the world’s second-biggest economy is faltering. Last week, China reported that GDP in teh first-quarter also slowed, triggering a sell-off in commodities.
Apr 23, 2013 - 7:36 AM

Asia Economy
China's GDP (gross domestic product) growth slowed unexpectedly in the first quarter of 2013, raising concerns that a recovery which began in the second half of 2012, is losing steam.
Apr 15, 2013 - 8:25 AM

Asia Economy
China's exports increased 10% year-on-year in March, and imports rose 14.1%, the General Administration of Customs said Wednesday. However in the month China's exports fell from an annual 21.8% rate seen in February, while imports growth bounced back to 14.1% following a 15.2% annual drop in the previous month, the GAC said. In March, there was a trade deficit of US$880m, in contrast with the $15.25bn surplus in February. Questions have been raised about the reliability of today's data.
Apr 10, 2013 - 11:54 AM

Asia Economy
Rising private consumption and stronger intraregional trade will spur a pickup in growth in developing Asia in 2013 and 2014, as economic activity in the US and Europe remains in the doldrums, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says in a major new report. The report highlights China's declining labour competitiveness, with surging wages and other costs outstripping labour productivity. This trend, exacerbated by the strong exchange rate, has already seen many low-cost and labour-intensive manufacturing jobs shift to cheaper locales, such as Southeast Asia. The ADB says to arrest the slide in competitiveness, policymakers need to ensure minimum wages do not outpace productivity growth and firms are given incentives to provide on-the-job training and invest in new technologies. Measures are also needed to reform the hukou residential registration system to reduce migration costs and improve labour market flexibility.
Apr 9, 2013 - 8:19 AM

Asia Economy
Growth in China's manufacturing sector improved in March, a preliminary survey of factory managers showed on Thursday, indicating steady but not spectacular first-quarter growth in the world's second-largest economy.
Mar 21, 2013 - 6:52 AM

Asia Economy
Australia is set for a record 22nd straight year of economic expansion in 2013 thanks to the commodities boom triggered by Chinese demand and prudent economic management.
Mar 15, 2013 - 7:25 AM

Asia Economy
China's exports in February increased 21.8% from a year earlier, the customs administration said today, in a month that had four fewer working days than last year because of the Lunar New Year. Exports have been boosted by demand from other emerging economies.
Mar 8, 2013 - 10:20 AM

Asia Economy
After adjusting for the strong seasonal factors associated with the Spring Festival/Lunar New Year, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) - - a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy - - posted 50.4 in February, down from 52.3 in January, signalling a marginal strengthening of operating conditions in the China's manufacturing sector. The PMI has now posted above the 50.0 no-change mark for four successive months. India, Indonesia and Taiwan also showed manufacturing improvements.
Mar 1, 2013 - 6:59 AM

Asia Economy
Japan’s manufacturing sector continued to experience worsening operating conditions during February as output, new orders and employment all continued to decline at modest rates. Margins remained under pressure as a weaker yen drove up operating costs but intense competition led to a further decline in output charges. Meanwhile, in Tokyo today Japan’s industrial production was reported to have risen for a second month in December. The government also today nominated Haruhiko Kuroda, president of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, to be the new central bank chief.
Feb 28, 2013 - 6:56 AM

Asia Economy
China is set to become a significant oil producer outside its borders after its state-owned oil companies spent a record $35bn buying foreign rivals last year.
Feb 20, 2013 - 9:03 AM

Asia Economy
Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank for a third straight time in the Q4 (last quarter) of 2012 as falling exports and a business investment slump outweighed improved consumption. The report coincides with vigorous efforts by the new government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to boost economic activity and end deflation.  The yen has fallen about 20% against the US dollar since last September.
Feb 14, 2013 - 8:20 AM

Asia Economy
China overtook the US to become the world’s biggest trading nation in 2012 as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.
Feb 11, 2013 - 8:03 AM

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