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Japan Underperforms in These Inflation Indicators

Originally published by Nikkei Asian Review on September 26 Read the original article.

Deflation.com and Elliott Wave International publications have repeatedly noted that deflation is a contraction in the amount of money and credit.

Contrary to popular belief, deflation is not defined as falling prices. Having said that, falling prices are usually a by-product of deflation.

Even so, EWI’s August 2017 Financial Forecast provided an overview of the economic challenges that many global economies are facing, incuding Japan, despite massive financial stimulus efforts:

In various parts of the world … the trend toward economic deterioration and falling consumer prices is already underway. Saudi Arabia’s economy shrank 0.5% in the first quarter of this year compared to the first quarter in 2016, and in June, prices fell 0.4% from June 2016; it was the sixth straight month of falling consumer prices. That same month, Ireland, Chile and Brazil also saw year-over-year consumer price declines of 0.6%, 0.4% and 0.23%, respectively. These economies may not necessarily be global powerhouses, but the Financial Times notes that the world’s largest economies are in similar shape: “The U.S., Europe and Japan are largely devoid of pricing power.”

Relatedly, read this excerpt from a Sept. 26 Nikkei Asian Review article:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to “maximize the speed” at which this country escapes deflation, when he announced Monday a snap election for the lower house.

Abe has every reason to be urgent since his government is missing the mark in this area on three counts.

The government employs four key benchmarks when grading reflationary measures, with one being a consumer price index that excludes fresh food and energy prices. However, the year-on-year change has stalled near 0% for several months.

The gross domestic product deflator, which reflects price trends as a whole, shows a 0.4% contraction on the year for the April-June quarter. The indicator has retreated for four straight quarters. In addition, the unit labor cost continues to hover at around 0%.

The one measure that barely receives a passing grade is the GDP gap, which highlights the balance between demand and supply. Demand won out by 0.5% during the second quarter of the year, marking an added improvement from a positive first quarter.

You can read the entire article by following the link below:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/Election-called-amid-lack-of-progress-in-beating-deflation

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