01 Mar 2015
Still, the data on Friday were certain to boost speculation that the BoJ will be forced to expand its monetary easing campaign sooner than later to counter the downturn. "Currently, 80 percent of private-sector economists expect additional easing by the end of the year," SMBC Nikko Securities said in a note. "We expect additional easing will come in late April." The inflation data were among a mixed bag of figures published Friday including a better-than-expected expansion in factory activity, but analysts warned that the uptick was likely to fizzle in the coming months. Separately, the internal affairs ministry said household spending fell a greater-than-expected 5.1 percent from a year ago, as the sales tax hike to 8.0 percent from 5.0 percent weighed on shopping nationwide. The jobless rate last month ticked up to 3.6 percent from this one 3.4 percent in December. Following the levy rise in April, Japan's economy fell into recession, prompting Abe to put off a second sales tax hike this year, which was aimed at taming Japan's enormous national this link debt. Japan limped out of recession in the last quarter of 2014, with a weak 0.6 percent expansion between October and December. But over the full year the preliminary data showed zero growth. And even Friday's upbeat industrial output figure -- a 4.0 percent on-month expansion -- did not warrant much optimism, said Marcel Thieliant from London-based Capital Economics.
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