Just days after Japan revealed its economic expansion in October was less than 50 percent of September’s rate, the country reported its exports rose at the fastest pace in three years. This very clear sign that international demand is picking up steam again couldn’t come at a better time for an economy in the earliest stages of recovering from a decades-long recession. Even though Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic reforms have resulted in a 14 percent drop in the value of the yen against the dollar, there’s still worry among analysts that international demand alone won’t compensate for more slippage in the country’s domestic demand. However, there is a short-term fix on the horizon, as Japan is scheduled to see a sales tax increase from 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014. Analysts expect a rush of consumers to spend disposable income before the tax hike takes effect in 2014. After April though, it’s anybody’s guess as to which way Japanese markets will run.
Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker,
financial journalist, and money manager. As well as a book author and regular contributor to
numerous investment websites, Jim is the editor of:
Bob Carlson provides independent, objective research covering all the financial issues of retirement and retirement planning. In addition, Bob serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fairfax County (VA) Employees’ Retirement System, which has over $2.8 billion in assets.
Jon Johnson's philosophy in investing and trading is to take what the market gives you regardless if that is to the upside or downside. For the past 21 years, Jon has helped thousands of clients gain success in the financial markets through his newsletters and education services: