Friday, 26 December 2008

Just worry about Japan

It has become very fashionable for Australians to look to China as the great salvation for our economic prosperity but it really is Japan that we should be worrying about. The growth in Australian exports to China might have been dramatic from a low base but it is still Japan that contributes the greatest number of dollars. And, unfortunately, it is Japan which is suffering the greater economic hardship as a result of the international financial crisis.
The news out of Japan today was grim indeed. Bloomberg reports Japan’s recession deepened in November as companies cut production at the fastest pace in 55 years and rising unemployment prompted households to pare spending.  Factory output plunged 8.1 percent from October, the Trade Ministry said today in Tokyo, more than the 6.8 percent estimated by economists. The jobless rate climbed to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent. Household spending slid 0.5 percent, a ninth drop.

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