|To: RealMuLan who wrote (26290)||3/25/2005 2:05:34 AM|
|Key Japan consumer price gauge falls at lowest rate in 5 yrs in FY04|
[What a screwy world - they are begging for inflation while everyone else is in fear of it - mish]
Friday, March 25, 2005 6:10:07 AM
TOKYO (AFX) - The core consumer price index (CPI) for Tokyo, a leading indicator of price trends throughout Japan, fell 0.2 pct in fiscal 2004, the sixth straight year of decline, the government reported, showing the world's second-largest economy remains dogged by deflation. But the rate of decline narrowed for the third straight year, and to the smallest level in five years, showing the deflation at the heart of Japan's economic woes of recent years has become far less troublesome
The rate of decline has slowed steadily from 1.1 pct in fiscal 2001 to 0.9 pct in fiscal 2002 and 0.3 pct in fiscal 2003. Yet despite rising prices for oil and other commodities, and a broad-based recovery which has fueled a big jump in corporate profits, significant improvement in labor market conditions and early signs of a rise in personal incomes, the government and private economists do not expect Japan to emerge from deflation anytime soon. Due in part to deregulation, which is causing prices to fall for items like telephone service and electricity, Japan is expected to continue experiencing modest deflation, meaning the Bank of Japan (BoJ) may maintain its ultra-loose credit policy for months to come -- and possibly into 2006. "The government must keep up efforts with the BoJ to overcome deflation," Kyodo News quoted Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki as telling reporters, vowing to accelerate structural reforms to spur economic growth while asking the central bank to maintain the current policy framework
Private economists were quicker to claim the data showed Japan might be winning its battle with deflation, though few expect victory to be declared anytime soon. "I think the real economy is gradually moving out of deflation, as the longer-term trend of the CPI shows that the pace of price declines is slowing," said Takehide Kiuchi, senior economist at Nomura Research Institute
Both the finance minister and Kiuchi were speaking after the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications early today released CPI data for March and fiscal 2004 for Tokyo, and nationwide data for February
The core consumer price index for Tokyo, widely watched because it's available a month earlier than the nationwide data, actually rose 0.4 pct in March from the previous month. Year-on-year, though, it fell 0.5 pct, the 66th straight monthly decline
The core rate excludes volatile fresh food prices, and thus gives a clearer indication of the underlying trend of price changes
Including fresh food prices, consumer prices in Tokyo also rose 0.4 pct month-on-month, but fell 0.3 pct from a year earlier
On a nationwide basis, the core CPI -- the BoJ's primary measure of price trends -- fell 0.4 pct in February from a year earlier. The Bank of Japan has declared that it will maintain its ultra-easy credit stance, under which it seeks to keep short-term interest rates near zero in an effort to stem deflation, until the core CPI remains above zero for a prolonged period, shows no signs of dropping and the economy is steadily growing
The index for overall prices nationally in February fell 0.2 pct month-on-month, and by 0.3 pct from a year earlier
Looking ahead, virtually all economists expect Japan's economic recovery to eventually haul the nation out of deflation, but are widely divided in predicting how soon before that happens. Kiuchi of Nomura Research said the consumer price index may fall at rates of 0.5 to 0.6 pct from year-earlier levels throughout 2005 because of the effects of deregulation, before finally turning positive next year
"The other major factor that could affect the CPI is higher crude oil prices," Kiuchi said. He said it is becoming more difficult for Japanese companies to absorb rising oil prices by keeping down labor costs, as many are now hiring new workers
Tatsushi Shikano, an economist at UFJ Research Institute, cited other reasons for arriving at the same view of deflation
"Although the data confirmed that deflation is easing, it will be difficult for the core CPI to begin rising, especially because macro-economic activity in Japan is deteriorating," Shikano said
Earlier this week the government reported that Japan's merchandise trade surplus fell again in February, raising concern over whether an expected pickup in domestic demand will compensate for a prolonged decline in external demand, long the major driver of economic growth. But other economists are more optimistic about the outlook for the Japanese economy, and thus for an early end to deflation
"We are relatively optimistic about the economy and therefore think that CPI deflation will come to an end toward the end of 2005," Kyodo News quoted John Richards, Japan strategist at Barclays Capital Japan Ltd, as saying
"This is much earlier than the broad market consensus, and implies an earlier end to zero-interest-rate policy," Richards said
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|To: RealMuLan who wrote (26290)||3/25/2005 2:06:49 AM|
|Japan 2004 mobile handset sales down 10.5 pct, third fall in 4 yrs - Gartner|
Friday, March 25, 2005 6:17:17 AM
TOKYO (AFX) - The combined sales of mobile phone handsets in Japan fell 10.5 pct from a year earlier to 43.57 mln units in 2004, the third decline in four years, Gartner Japan said
In 2004, NEC Corp held the largest market share, with 19.1 pct, but down from 23.6 pct in 2003, with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd second with 15.3 pct share, also down from 16.8 pct in the previous year
Sharp Corp ranked third with 14.8 pct share, up from 11.8 pct in 2003
Sanyo Electric Co Ltd was fourth and saw its market share rise to 10.7 pct from 7.3 pct
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|To: RealMuLan who wrote (26290)||3/25/2005 2:19:27 AM|
|Tokyo core CPI falls 0.2 pct in fiscal year to March -|
[The price of Chinese cabbage is up however - Mish]
Friday, March 25, 2005 2:09:55 AM
(Adds fiscal year figures, details)
TOKYO (AFX) - The metropolitan Tokyo core consumer price index (CPI), a leading indicator of price trends throughout Japan, fell 0.2 pct in the fiscal year to March 2005, the sixth straight year of decline, a provisional report released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications shows
But the same report said deflationary pressure was easing, as the headline figure was the smallest decline in five fiscal years. And for three straight fiscal years, the size of the fall has been decreasing, the report said
The core rate excludes volatile fresh food prices, and thus gives a clearer indication of the underlying rate of deflation
The Bank of Japan has declared that it will maintain its ultra-easy credit stance, under which it seeks to keep short-term interest rates near zero in an effort to stem deflation, until the core national CPI remains above zero for a prolonged period, shows no signs of dropping and the economy is steadily growing
The metropolitan Tokyo overall CPI fell 0.1 pct in the year to March, the sixth straight year of decline. It was the smallest fall in six years
Despite signs that deflation is easing, an official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said it is "premature to conclude that the CPIs will show a year-on-year rise in the new fiscal year." Tatsushi Shikano, an economist at UFJ Research Institute, remarked: "Although the data confirmed that the degree of deflation is easing, it will be difficult for the core CPI to form a solid rising trend, especially because macro-economic activity in Japan is deteriorating." Notebook PCs led the fall in the metropolitan Tokyo overall CPI, with their prices dropping by 29.0 pct, followed by the prices of desktop PCs, down 27.9 pct. Prices of TVs declined by 8.3 pct
Prices of Chinese cabbage jumped 33.3 pct and prices of ordinary cabbage rose 21.7 pct because of the weather last autumn
Reflecting surging crude oil prices, prices of regular gasoline jumped 8.8 pct and prices of premium gasoline increased by 7.9 pct
The metropolitan Tokyo core CPI rose 0.4 pct in March from the previous month, while falling 0.5 pct from a year before, the 66th straight month of decline. The index fell 0.5 pct in both January and February
Including fresh food prices, metropolitan Tokyo consumer prices in March rose 0.4 pct month-on-month, but fell 0.3 pct from the previous year
In March, prices of desktop PCs fell 28.6 pct from a year before and prices of notebook PCs dropped 27.6 pct, while prices of regular gasoline rose 10.7 pct and prices of premium gasoline increased by 9.8 pct
The ministry also released national CPI data for February
The core rate fell 0.1 pct from the previous month. Year-on-year the core rate fell 0.4 pct
The index for overall prices nationally in February fell 0.2 pct month-on-month. Year-on-year it fell 0.3 pct
In February, prices of desktop PCs nationally plunged 30.7 pct from a year before and prices of notebook PCs fell 29.0 pct, while prices of regular gasoline rose 11.6 pct and prices of premium gasoline gained by 10.1 pct
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|To: RealMuLan who wrote (26290)||3/25/2005 2:22:17 AM|
|Japan Feb home appliance sales fall 4.86 pct yr-on-yr - association|
Friday, March 25, 2005 4:27:55 AM
TOKYO (AFX) - Sales of home appliances dropped 4.86 pct in February from a year earlier to 136.6 bln yen, the first decline in two months, due to fewer holidays, the Nippon Electric Big-store Association (NEBA) said. Among notable decliners were sales of cameras equipped with video recorders which fell 20.72 pct from the previous year. Sales of personal computers also dropped 20.07 pct while digital cameras slid 16.05 pct, the association said. NEBA consists of 30 large retailers of home appliances.
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|To: mishedlo who wrote (26298)||3/25/2005 4:54:42 AM|
|From: Haim R. Branisteanu|
|Euro could collapse in reforms, warns King|
By Malcolm Moore, Economics Correspondent (Filed: 25/03/2005)
The Governor of the Bank of England yesterday warned that the euro could collapse in the wake of reforms to the European stability and growth pact.
"In the long run, it is difficult to imagine monetary union being successful without genuine cohesive fiscal discipline," said Mervyn King to a select committee of MPs.
"It is clear that my Central Banking colleagues are seriously concerned, indeed dismayed would be a better word, at this turn of events. The [European] Finance Ministers have driven a coach and horses through the stability and growth pact," he said, stressing that fiscal discipline was crucial to the single currency. "Whatever words you might use to describe those changes to the pact, it is not discipline," he added.
The pact states that members of the European Union cannot have a budget deficit of more than 3pc of GDP. However, since more than half the members of the eurozone have breached the rules since the euro was launched, the pact was redesigned this week with several loopholes.
The watered-down rules will exclude the costs of German reunification, French rearmament, Polish peacekeeping and an array of public investment. The move was immediately attacked by the Bundesbank, which said the exemptions would "crucially weaken the pact".
The Bundesbank also emphasised the risk to the euro, saying: "The possibility of a deterioration in the underlying conditions for the single European monetary policy is a matter of serious concern."
The collective budget deficit across the European Union is currently 2.9pc, and one analyst said that since European interest rates are set collectively, fiscal rules should also be set collectively. "I would only be concerned if the budget deficit was 5pc to 6pc of European GDP," he said.
Simon Hayley, at Capital Economics, said: "The death of the pact will not lead to fiscal anarchy. The pact had already lost all credibility. Replacing it with a watered-down version merely recognises this fact."
The Governor did give his approval to the UK Budget, delivered by the Chancellor last week. He told the MPs, who were questioning members of the Monetary Policy Committee on the February Inflation Report, that the Chancellor would meet his fiscal rules.
He said: "It looks very much as if in a year's time that the Golden Rule will be met." He also said that he did not doubt that the Golden Rule would be met over the course of the next economic cycle, based on the Treasury's projections. "I have no reason to doubt those numbers," he said.
The Treasury is forecasting that the economy will grow at 3pc-3½pc this year, and 2½-3pc next year. By contrast, the Bank of England expects that growth will be lower than 3pc until 2006, under its central projection.
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|To: mishedlo who wrote (26287)||3/25/2005 6:16:00 AM|
|The seemingly inevitable how-to guide inspired by Donald Trump - "Trump Strategies for Real Estate" (John Wiley & Sons) by George Ross, one of Mr. Trump's assistants on his hit show "The Apprentice" - is a strong seller, already hitting No. 177 on Amazon.com's list in March, less than a month after its release.|
At the Nexus party in Brooklyn, Steve Nguyen, Ms. Romano's fiancé, said he was heeding Mr. Trump's advice. "He says buy, buy, buy," Dr. Nguyen said.
Trump is building a 55 story condo in downtown Tampa that won't be completed for another two years, proving that talking your book isn't limited to stock market gurus.
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|To: mishedlo who wrote (26287)||3/25/2005 7:07:47 AM|
|I live in this fantasy land. SW Florida seems to believe that we are immune from any financial difficulty. I have a friend that is positive that real estate values will appreciate 20% a year for the next 10 years as Baby Boomers move to Florida. |
I say that if that many people move here, it will be a highly undesirable place to live. I thought the hurricanes that hit last season would dampen this raw enthusiasm. Not so. In Punta Gorda, the hardest hit by hurricanes, people are lining up to buy new development hoping for a 100% appreciation in two years. I think the realtors spike their coffee.
Highrise condo development in the backward Fort Myers is selling out pre-development with about 90% investors/10% actual buyers. I think this is a recipe for disaster and perhaps an opportunity for me to buy a nice penthouse in a few years.
I stand in amazement but I am enjoying the amazing increase in my interior design business. I have never seen anything like it in my long career (37 years).
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