Global Slowdown Hits Japan as Unemployment Surges
Nov 29, 2011 4:28 PM GMT+1300
Japan’s jobless rate surged by more than the predictions of 29 economists, adding pressure on the central bank to expand stimulus as Europe’s debt crisis deepens and gains by the yen impede the nation’s recovery.
The unemployment rate increased to 4.5 percent in October from 4.1 percent in September, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. That exceeded analysts’ median estimate of 4.2 percent and was the highest level in three months.
Panasonic Corp. and TDK Corp. are cutting jobs as a yen near a post World War II high against the dollar erodes profits and the nation struggles to recover from the March earthquake that left about 19,000 people dead or missing. Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa indicated yesterday that 55 trillion yen ($708 billion) of credit and asset-buying programs will be expanded if necessary.
“With the number of jobs in manufacturing falling, we’re already starting to see the impact of the global economic slowdown,” said Yoshimasa Maruyama, an economist at Itochu Corp. in Tokyo. In the event of any global financial crisis, “exports will fall off a cliff,” Maruyama said.
UBS AG today cut global growth forecasts for 2012 and the Australian government reduced estimates for that country. At the same time, Asian stocks rose on optimism that Europe’s crisis can be contained. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent as of 12:03 p.m. in Tokyo.
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