Overall, though, the economy is in bad shape: no spending, some policy, high unemplyoment ...and hopefully, the re-emergence of export growth.
The findings in brief:
- What is happening
- Business fixed investment has declined substantially, reflecting the significant
deterioration in corporate profits.
- Private consumption has weakened and housing investment has decreased, as the employment and income situation has become increasingly severe.
- On the other hand, exports and production have begun to turn upward, after falling substantially.
- What is expected: "In the coming months, Japan's economy is likely to show clearer evidence of leveling out over time."
- Domestic private demand is likely to continue weakening with corporate profits and firms' funding conditions remaining severe and a worsening employment and income situation. (RW: domestic spending will continue to decline)
- On the other hand, exports and production are expected to continue recovering, mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments both at home and abroad. (RW: hopefully, hopefully, exports will continue to improve)
- Domestic corporate goods prices are likely to continue decreasing gradually for the time being, as supply-demand conditions for products are likely to remain slack. (RW: since there is no domestic demand, deflation is all but given)
Just to give you an idea of how weak the economy is (aside from the precipitous decline in GDP), the unemployment rate marked 5% in April 2009, its highest level since 2003. But worse yet, the surge, 1% over the year, is the largest annual jump since 1954 (except in March, when it likewise posted a 1% change over the year). Oh man.