Japan’s industrial output collapses as exports dive


Japan has an ageing population. Since 1990, it has relied on exports to boost its economy.

Yesterday, official figures showed industrial production is now being badly affected by the global recession. Output fell 3.1% in October, and a 6.4% decline is expected in November.

Observers forecast the September – December period could see an “unprecedented” total fall of 12%. And unfortunately for the chemical industry, auto production was worst-hit last month.

A vicious cycle is clearly now underway, whereby lost exports will lead to major job cuts, and further reduce consumer spending. Japan’s economy minister, Kaoru Yosano, also warned this would increase “deflationary pressure on Japan’s economy”.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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