Buying stocks, bonds, and generally printing money willy-nilly is hard work according to BoJ Governor Kuroda who remarked tonight that “the job of a central banker is challenging.” Perhaps the reason for his emotional outburst is the fact that Japanese wages just plunged in March – the biggest drop since June 2015 as the economic rebound that we are constantly told about has evaporated once again.
Speaking to Parliament earlier tonight, Governor Kuroda said: JAPAN’S VIRTUOUS ECONOMIC CYCLE IS STRENGTHENING before adsmitting the JOB OF A CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR IS CHALLENGING.
And then the dismal data struck… worse than the lowest estimate and 9 standard deviations below expectations… poses yet another setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempts to revitalise the economy.
As Reuters reports, the wages figures back recent data showing household spending fell more than expected and core consumer prices rose at a slower-than-expected pace in March, suggesting an exit from the central bank’s radical quantitative easing programme remains distant. Inflation-adjusted real wages dropped 0.8 percent in March from a year earlier to mark their biggest rate of decline since June 2015, labour ministry data showed on Tuesday. In nominal terms, wage earners’ cash earnings fell 0.4 percent year-on-year in March, also notching the biggest rate of decrease since June 2015.
The data underscores the fragile and patchy nature of Japan’s economic recovery. It also bodes ill for Abe, who has repeatedly urged companies to lift worker compensation to foster sustainable growth in the world’s third-largest economy through a virtuous cycle of increased household spending, higher business investment and production.
“We need to look at the data for April onward. We can’t say by looking at just this month that the trend (in wage growth) has shifted,” the official said
But the data sparked more selling in JPY…