The Japanese yen was once again a net loser on the week. It was another round of generally positive global risk sentiment on stimulus hopes and pandemic recovery expectations that was likely the main driver lower for the Japanese yen, despite better-than-expected updates from Japan on low tier economic events.
Japanese Headlines and Economic data
“The trade surplus reached 965.1 billion yen or 9.1 billion dollars, which is more than a 13-fold increase in yen terms from the year before. Imports fell due to lower crude oil prices, while exports rose on robust demand from China.”
“We expect the large fiscal support to be unwound gradually, but downside risks to growth exacerbate the challenge of placing the debt ratio on a downward path over the medium term,” the ratings agency said.
“Total deposits at commercial banks rose a record 9.8% in January from a year earlier to hit 806.2 trillion yen ($7.6 trillion), accelerating from a 9.3% gain in December, according to data released by the Bank of Japan.”
“The diffusion index of confidence in current conditions compared with three months earlier among “economy watchers” such as taxi drivers and restaurant staff dropped 3.1 points from December to 31.2, according to the Cabinet Office.”
“Inflation-adjusted real wages, a key gauge of households’ purchasing power, fell 1.9% in December from a year earlier, the biggest drop since a 2.1% decline in June last year, data from the labour ministry showed.
For the whole of 2020, real wages fell 1.2%, down for a second straight year and the fastest pace of decline since a 2.8% drop in 2014, according to the data.”
“The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry had intended to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. With the acceleration of its administrative procedures, the government is considering starting vaccinations on Wednesday for around 20,000 doctors and nurses who have consented to receive the shots, the sources said.”