Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Hamas and Israel sustain fire despite missed targets

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

Business

Unemployment hits six-year high

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-31

Japan's jobless rate hit a six-year high of 5.4 percent in June, putting the unemployment rate on course to rise above post-World War II levels. The country is suffering its worst recession in decades.

AFP - Japan's jobless rate hit a six-year high of 5.4 percent in June and deflation deepened as Asia's biggest economy wrestled with the fallout from its worst recession in decades, data showed Friday.
   
Reeling from plunging profits, Japanese companies shed thousands more workers, putting the unemployment rate on course to rise above its post-World War II high of 5.5 percent, last seen in April 2003.
   
The jobless rate will probably climb above 6.0 percent early next year, said Hiroshi Shiraishi, an economist at BNP Paribas.
   
"A lot of large corporations have been holding off slashing regular workers. But as it becomes clear that sales aren't going to recover much they will eventually have to start more aggressive restructuring," he said.
   
Hopes are mounting that Japan's economy has come through the worst of its export and production slump, but unemployment tends to lag behind economic growth in recovering from a recession.
   
The number of people out of work in June increased by 830,000, or 31.3 percent, from a year earlier to 3.48 million, lifting the jobless rate by 0.2 points from May when it stood at 5.2 percent, the government said.
   
There were only 43 job offers for every 100 job seekers, a record low and down from 44 the previous month.
   
Despite the worsening jobs market, Japanese household spending edged up 0.2 percent in June from a year earlier, adjusted for price changes.
   
Deflation deepened with core consumer prices falling a record 1.7 percent in June from a year ago.
   
Core prices, which exclude those of volatile fresh food, fell for the fourth straight month after a 1.1 percent drop in May.
   
"Deflation's establishing more of a foothold," said Jan Lambregts, head of research at Rabobank Global Financial Markets in Hong Kong.
   
Japan was stuck in a deflationary spiral for years after its asset price bubble burst in the early 1990s, prompting consumers to put off purchases in the hope of further price drops and reducing corporate earnings.
   
Analysts say that the current price falls reflect the effects of falling energy costs -- good news for the economy -- and weak domestic demand, which is more of a worry.
   
Japan plunged into recession more than a year ago as a severe global downturn crushed demand for its cars, electronics and other exports.
   
The economy shrank at an annualised pace of 14.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the worst performance on record, but recent data have indicated that exports and industrial production have begun to rebound.
   
Japan's factory output soared 8.3 percent in April-June from the previous quarter, the sharpest rise since 1953, following a record slump of 22.1 percent in the first three months of the year, the government said Thursday.
   
All of which suggests "that the Japanese economy returned to growth last quarter," said Julian Jessop, chief international economist at the research firm Capital Economics in London.
   
Japan will "almost certainly" record the strongest growth of the Group of Seven major economies for the second quarter of 2009, he wrote in a note.
   
But analysts also warn that any recovery could fizzle out next year once the positive effects of government stimulus spending measures fade, with rising unemployment and a shrinking population likely to weigh on consumer spending.
 

Date created : 2009-07-31

Comments

COMMENT(S)