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Economy in Brief

Economy Watchers Index Edges Lower and Future Index Weakens
by Bob Brusca July 9, 2007

Economy watchers survey results are in the lower quarter or third of their respective five year ranges. The NTC Manufacturing survey is in the bottom one percentile of its range. Teikoku Results for Manufacturing are weakening, but still stronger in relative terms, in the top third of their range

Japan is still having a hard time getting its economic traction. Its Economy Watchers Index fell in June and is further below 50; the future index fell below 50 for the first time in six months.

The NTC MFG index for Japan has been weak and sliding, as it has dropped for five months in a row. It was last weaker than its current value in June of 2003.

The Teikoku indices are weighted diffusion readings and readings for MFG are even weaker than for the NTC barometer in absolute levels; but relative to its own range the reading is higher than for NTC. Still the Teikoku indices show a rapid drop in the sector readings in recent months. In the past three months various sectors have dropped 10 percentile points to 15 percentile to 20 percentile points (retailing) in terms of relative standings. Cleary Japan’s economy is having some difficulties and we see that in the exchange rate.

Key Japanese surveys
  Raw readings of each survey Percent of 5Yr range*
  Jun-07 May-07 Apr-07 Mar-07 Jun-07 May-07 Apr-07
Economy Watchers 46.0 46.8 49.7 50.8 25.7% 44.4% 59.8%
Employment 51.2 50.7 57.1 56.3 27.5% 35.6% 63.1%
Future 48.4 50.0 51.9 51.3 34.9% 52.9% 68.0%
NTC MFG 50.4 51.4 52.3 52.5 0.9% 30.2% 41.4%
Econ Trends (Teikoku'/50 neutral/weighted diffusion)              
MFG 44.6 45.2 47.0 47.2 69.7% 76.2% 85.1%
Retail 39.2 39.6 41.1 41.1 52.7% 64.3% 74.3%
Wholesale 42.1 42.8 44.3 44.6 68.0% 75.6% 83.5%
Services 48.6 49.1 50.3 49.9 83.0% 88.4% 93.6%
Construction 36.8 37.7 38.4 38.7 77.5% 84.4% 89.2%
100 is high; Zero is low
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