- Korea: Housing Price Index (Apr)
- US: Consumer Sentiment (Apr-final), GDP (Q1 Adv), ECI (Q1)
- Consumer Sentiment Detail (Apr-final)
- US: Selected NIPA Tables (Q1-Adv), Summary key Source Data (Q1)
- Canada: GDP by Industry (Feb), Industrial Product Prices (Mar)
- *Taiwan National House Price Indexes Rebased to 2016=100.*
- Euro area: HICP (Apr-Flash), ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (Q2)
- Italy: CPI, HICP (Apr-Prelim)
- Brazil: Sao Paolo Capacity Utilization (Mar);Mexico: Debt (Mar);
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
U.S. Employment Cost Index Has Stronger Gain
Lifted by outsized rises in several industries, the employment cost index for civilian workers rose 0.8% (2.4% y/y) during Q1'17...
Chicago Purchasing Managers Index Strengthens
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Business Barometer Index for April increased to 58.3 from 57.7 in March...
EMU Money and Credit Perk Up
There is some noticeable acceleration in EMU money and credit growth...
Durable Goods Orders Improvement Moderates
New orders for durable goods rose 0.7% (4.5% y/y) during March...
U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increase
Initial unemployment claims for unemployment insurance rose to 257,000 during the week ended April 22...
U.S. Pending Home Sales Ease
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales slipped 0.8% ((+0.8% y/y) during March...
by Robert Brusca February 4, 2016
New vehicle registrations in Japan fell by 2.5% in January as they continue to gyrate with offsetting up down movements for the third consecutive month. On balance, registrations are higher over three months but lower over six months and 12 months. The ongoing intermediate trend for registrations is lower.
All other vehicle sales or output data also show declines year-over-year and most show that the weakness is ongoing over shorter periods. Over three months, motor vehicle sales are lower and truck output is falling rapidly. Passenger car output is up at less than a 1% annual rate over three months.
Both overall industrial output and retail sales are showing three-month declines. For the most part, the trends reveal accelerating deterioration.
Japan's year-over-year vehicle registrations have their strongest correlation with motor vehicle sales with a correlation of 0.92. The next best correlation is with passenger car production with a correlation of 0.82. The correlation with truck IP is 0.78 and with retail sales overall it is only 0.56.
Car registrations data are available a month ahead of the other series. Its correlation with motor vehicle sales is especially valuable. The weakness in registrations in January suggests strongly that motor vehicle sales and vehicle output are going to continue on their down trends. During these difficult times, the U.S., the U.K. and Europe have been buoyed by strong or rising vehicle sales. Japan's vehicle sector has not been anyway near as kind in boosting retail sales and spending in Japan that vehicle sales have been in the rest of the developed world. And now motor vehicle sales appear to be ready to become a drag on the overall economy.
The Bank of Japan has some newly initiated policies for stimulus. It has instituted a program of negative interest rates. That program is brand new; it is way too soon to expect to see any impact from it just yet. But the auto sector gives us one clear reason why the BOJ may have wanted to pull the trigger on a program with more stimulus. The auto sector, as well as all of retailing, and the factory sector all are showing some very downbeat results. Japan's economy is headed for trouble. The BOJ's policy move looks like it is, classically, too little too late.