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Economy in Brief

Japan Hits The Skids Hard In December
by Robert Brusca January 30, 2009

The drop off in Japan’s industrial production index is now extraordinary as it has posted a month-to-month drop of nearly double digits. Over three months Japan’s IP is plunging at a 58% annual rate. It is also down by 22.5% Yr/Yr. Transportation output dropped by 14% in November and its three-month annualized growth rate is -79%. Intermediate goods are taking the most sever beating in December. But consumer goods output is off by 7.9% in December. Investment goods output is dropping by 4.8% in December. There is no safe haven.

Japan has been sliding for some time. But the figures from overnight are shocking with household spending off and housing stars off and construction orders plunging. Unemployment has jumped and Japan’s manufacturing PMI has dropped for eleven straight months and to a record low.

Germany, another export dependent country, heard its deputy finance minister today warn that the hammer blow to exports was continuing and the domestic economy was getting hit even harder as a result. The lesson is to be wary of export oriented economies since the export market is drying up fast, however you define it.

Japan Industrial Production Trends
  m/m % Saar % Yr/Yr Qtr-2-Date
seas adjusted Dec-08 Nov-08 Oct-08 3-mo 6-mo 12-mo Yr-Ago % AR
mining&MFG -9.6% -8.5% -3.1% -58.8% -37.4% -22.5% 2.3% -39.8%
Total Industry -9.2% -7.9% -3.4% -57.4% -36.2% -21.7% 2.3% -39.2%
MFG -9.6% -8.5% -3.2% -59.0% -37.5% -22.5% 2.4% -39.8%
  Textiles -4.4% -1.5% -0.2% -22.3% -18.7% -15.7% -4.3% -12.7%
  T-port -14.3% -14.3% -7.4% -78.6% -55.3% -33.9% 5.2% -59.7%
Product Group
  Consumer Gds -7.9% -6.2% -2.2% -49.1% -28.6% -16.8% 2.4% -33.9%
  Intermediate Gds -12.5% -8.6% -4.7% -66.4% -44.0% -26.7% 4.8% -45.5%
  Investment Gds -4.8% -9.3% -2.6% -50.2% -31.4% -19.4% -2.5% -31.6%
Miining -1.4% 7.6% -7.5% -7.5% -1.5% -3.9% 4.3% -20.9%
Electric&Gas -3.8% 0.4% 1.4% -8.3% -3.5% -4.5% 2.4% -3.4%
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