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Economy in Brief

Japan's Economy Watcher's Index Turns Lower Again
by Robert Brusca May 12, 2008

After several months of firming on its various gauges the economy watchers index has dropped again in April. The drop takes the overall index to the bottom several percentile of its five year range and levels employment is the bottom 2.8 percentile of its range. The future index, also lower in the month, resides in the bottom 17 percentile of its range. Similarly in April we have seen the NTC MFG index weaken and the Teikoku indices weaken. The perception that the economy is losing steam in the economy watchers survey seems to on target. Unfortunately the future index is still falling sharply.

Key Japanese surveys
  Raw readings of each survey Percent of 5-Yr range*
  Apr-08 Mar-08 Feb-08 Jan-08 Apr-08 Mar-08 Feb-08
Diffusion
Economy Watchers 35.5 36.9 33.6 31.8 14.5% 20.0% 7.1%
Employment 33.6 35.5 35.0 34.1 0.0% 4.4% 2.8%
Future 36.1 38.2 39.5 35.8 1.4% 11.5% 17.8%
NTC MFG 48.6 49.5 50.8 52.4 0.0% 6.0% 30.5%
Econ Trends (Teikoku'/50 neutral/weighted diffusion)
MFG 36.9 37.8 38.5 37.9 0.0% 0.0% 4.4%
Retail 32.1 33.2 32.6 31.3 5.9% 13.6% 9.4%
Wholesale 34.5 34.9 35.3 34.5 0.3% 3.6% 6.3%
Services 40.4 40.5 41.0 40.4 0.0% 1.1% 5.4%
Construction 28.0 29.3 29.7 28.9 0.0% 4.3% 7.5%
100 is high; Zero is low
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