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Manufacturing in Japan drops significantly [ClearOnMoney]
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Manufacturing in Japan drops significantly

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Commentary

Manufacturing in Japan drops significantly

31 Aug 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Japan is one of a long list of countries that seems to be on the edge of recession. Perhaps we are reaching the stimulus endgame.

Today the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan reported industrial production through July. The manufacturing index is down, and it looks as if the drop over the last few months is probably more than one can attribute to noise.

This is partly specific to Japan. Efforts to adapt to the loss of nuclear power (a third of the total) have been heroic. But limiting the supply of power, raising the cost of the rest greatly, and all in the aftermath of a national disaster, must, of course, affect economic growth.

But backing away from the specifics of Japan, it is also noteworthy that Japan is one of a long list of countries that seem to be on the border of recession. Although I think there is still not enough evidence to speak of a global recession, it is certainly clear that global economic growth is quite fragile at present.

The Financial Times says,

The data from Japan, just hours before many of the world’s central bankers converge on Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to discuss ways to revive growth, will intensify fears that extraordinarily loose monetary policies in developed markets are failing to stimulate demand.

It does seem very likely that stimulus policies, which are perhaps helpful in the short term, have probably been overused, and are no longer useful. After all, as useful as adrenaline injections can be in an emergency, a body needs real sustenance eventually.