October 15, 2018

Chart of The Week: Fathom’s Japan ESI Edges Upward in Q3

by Fathom Consulting.

Fathom’s Japan Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rebounded to 4.1% in Q3, up from 3.9% in the previous quarter. The increase was driven by the industrial sector, with the manufacturing Tankan and manufacturing production surveys up on the quarter. However, several corporate sector surveys fell again in September, leading to a slight softening of the ESI for that month. Concerns about slowing economic activity in China, Japan’s biggest export market, and trade renegotiations with the US following threats of auto tariffs suggest that external demand will continue to contribute little to Japanese economic growth, despite a weaker yen. With retail sales slowing and industrial production falling short of forecasts in August, it is unlikely that GDP growth this quarter will match that of the previous quarter, which was helped by a strong bounceback from Q1’s surprise contraction.

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