1. Japan’s economy grew an annualised 6.7 percent in the first quarter, up sharply from an initial reading of a 5.9 percent rise, and confirmed the fastest pace of growth since July-September 2011. The data beat the median market forecast for GDP to rise 5.6 percent.
The upward revision was largely due to a recalculation in capital expenditure that took into account finance ministry data showing a solid increase in spending.
Adding to the optimism, current account data showed foreign visitors spent more money than Japanese travelling abroad for the first time in 44 years, boding well for Japanese companies in the retail and tourism industry.
In comments to Parliament, BOJ Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata sounded suitably upbeat, saying that he expects Japan’s exports to turn up as advanced nations recover.
“The Japanese economy will continue growth above its potential rate as a trend as exports turn up and domestic demand remains firm,” Iwata told parliament, adding that the economy is on a steady track to meet the BOJ’s 2 percent inflation target.
2. China’s exports gained steam in May thanks to firmer global demand, data showed on Sunday, but an unexpected fall in imports signaled weaker domestic demand that could continue to weigh on the world’s second-largest economy.
Exports rose 7 percent in May from a year earlier, quickening from April’s 0.9 percent rise, while imports fell 1.6 percent, versus a rise of 0.8 percent in April.
Exports to the United States rose 6.3 percent in May, slowing from a rise of 12 percent in April, while shipments to the European Union rose 13.4 percent last month, compared with 15.1 percent in April. Exports to ASEAN countries rose 9.1 percent, quickening from 3.8 percent in April, the data showed.
The announcement by President Pranab Mukherjee included plans designed to simplify taxation and reduce inflation.
Industrial reforms included attracting private investment to the coal and defence sectors.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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