- 19 May 2011:The economy shrank by a much worse-than-expected annualised 3.7% in the first three months of 2011, marking the second consecutive quarter of contraction, which economists define as a technical recession.
- 16 May 2011:The consumer confidence index fell to 33.1 in April 2011, down from 38.6 in March, according to the Cabinet Office. A reading below 50 suggests consumer pessimism.
- 2 May 2011:China economic growth may moderate as manufacturing index slips (May 1) - Bloomberg (via Businessweek)A Chinese manufacturing index declined in April from March, indicating that growth may moderate in the world's second-biggest economy after the government raised interest rates and allowed faster gains in the yuan.
- Japanese automobile sales more than halved in April - the biggest monthly drop on record - and are not expected to recover until late 2011, raising concerns the country's leading vehicle manufacturers will post losses for the first half of the year.
- 28 Apr 2011:Chairman Ben Bernanke said he expected growth for 2011 to be between 3.1% and 3.3%, compared with the previous forecast of 3.4-3.9%. He also hinted the Fed would not pump more money into the economy after June.
- 26 Apr 2011:
- 22 Apr 2011:Lawmakers in China are revising the income tax law to narrow the wealth gap and to encourage more domestic consumption. The amendment will raise the threshold for personal income tax from CNY2,000 to CNY3,000 a month (from US$304 to US$456).
- 21 Apr 2011:GDP will expand 0.8% in 2011, down sharply from the 1.7% growth previously forecast. But as reconstruction spending gains pace, the economy will expand 2.3% in 2012, faster than previous estimates for 1.3% growth, the OECD said.
- The driving force of Japan's economy has gone into reverse. In March exports fell 2.2% which is the first drop in almost a year and a half.
- 18 Apr 2011:Japan voters critical of Kan's response, support disaster taxes (Apr 18) - Bloomberg (via Businessweek)Japanese voters are critical of Prime Minister Naoto Kan's handling of the crisis at a crippled nuclear plant and support raising taxes to finance rebuilding plans after last month's earthquake and tsunami, surveys show.
- 15 Apr 2011:Obama proposes cutting US$4 trillion from deficit in 12 years (Apr 13) - Bloomberg (via Businessweek)President Barack Obama has vowed to cut US$4 trillion in cumulative deficits within 12 years through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.
- The reserves increase as Beijing buys dollars and other foreign currency to restrain the rise of its yuan as export revenues and investment pour into its economy. In freer trading, that flood of cash would push up the yuan's value against the dollar, making Chinese exports more expensive abroad.
- 12 Apr 2011:The deficit for the first three months of 2011 stood at US$1.02 billion, according to the latest data by the General Administration of Customs. China has said that it is working towards increasing domestic demand and becoming less reliant on exports to sustain its growth.
- 31 Mar 2011:Japanese manufacturing activity sank to a two-year low in March 2011, underlining the impact of the earthquake and tsunami on economic activity in the country.
- 29 Mar 2011:Japan's unemployment rate fell to a two-year low in February 2011, government data showed. But economists said the rate may rise in the coming months as the devastating earthquake and subsequent power shortages could keep companies from boosting staff.
- 18 Mar 2011:Emergency crews at Japan's earthquake-hit nuclear plant in Fukushima prevented the radiological crisis from spinning further out of control on Friday (Mar. 18), but their efforts appeared to be too late to prevent contamination of inhabited areas around the site.
- Earlier this week, the yen hit its highest level since World War II against the US dollar, adding to fears over Japan's recovery. The yen weakened to 81.81 against the US dollar after news of the plan.
- 17 Mar 2011:The crisis in Japan has revived anti-nuclear passions worldwide, putting governments on the defensive and undermining the nuclear power industry's recent renaissance as the clean energy of the future.
- 16 Mar 2011:Plans by Japan's largest electric utility to impose rolling blackouts across the earthquake-ravaged country could sharply curtail Japan's economic growth and disrupt global commerce.
- A spike in radiation levels at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has forced workers to suspend their operation, a government spokesman says.
- 14 Mar 2011:Brent crude fell by almost US$3, reaching a two-week low near US$111 on investor pessimism that economic growth will slow in the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami, while easing unrest in the Middle East threw the focus back onto ample oil supplies.
- The devastation in Japan is set to worsen the negative short-term sentiment gripping a vulnerable US stock market, with companies exposed to Japan and the nuclear energy sector likely to take the biggest hits.
- 12 Mar 2011:Like the oil spike that roiled markets in recent weeks, Friday's quake offers yet another reminder of how vulnerable aging, slow-growing, debt-burdened economies are to a shock even in what is supposed to be a period of global economic expansion.
- China has offered to send earthquake rescuers and extended its "deep sympathy and solicitudes to the Japanese government and people" on Friday, marking some of the first sober words exchanged between the two nations in months. Last fall relations between Beijing and Tokyo reached their worst point in years.
- 7 Mar 2011:The Obama administration is considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to rapidly rising gasoline prices brought on by turmoil in the Middle East. Oil for April delivery settled at US$104.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday.
- 6 Mar 2011:Japan's greying population of around 128 million grew by just 0.2% over 2005-10, the slowest rate of growth since records began in 1920, new census data said.
- 4 Mar 2011:The UN's Food Price Index rose 2.2% in February to the highest level since the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) began monitoring prices in 1990. It also warned that spikes in the oil price could make the "already precarious" situation in the food market even worse.
- 24 Feb 2011:Oil prices climbed to their highest level in 30 months in London today as Libya's uprising reduced shipments and sparked fears of unrest spreading across the Middle East.
- 18 Feb 2011:The European Parliament has ratified a free-trade pact between the EU and South Korea - clearing the way for the deal to come into effect from July.
- 17 Feb 2011:Japan and India have signed a free-trade agreement that will see tariffs on 94% of goods scrapped within a decade.
- 15 Feb 2011:At its current rate of growth, analysts see China replacing the US as the world's top economy in about a decade.
- 11 Feb 2011:The International Monetary Fund has issued a report on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The goal is to have a reserve asset for central banks that better reflects the global economy since the dollar is vulnerable to swings in the domestic economy and changes in US policy.
- 10 Feb 2011:German exports rose 0.5% in December to round out a year of strong growth, increasing 18.5% in 2010, figures show.
- 8 Feb 2011:Japan's economy will emerge from a lull soon and is certain to pull out of deflation over time, a Bank of Japan policymaker said, offering a somewhat upbeat take on the outlook on budding signs of a recovery.
- Taiwan's dollar rose past NT$29 against the greenback for the first time since 1997 on speculation the central bank is letting the currency strengthen as foreign funds buy the island's assets.
- 7 Feb 2011:Unemployment fell sharply for a second straight month in January. Still, many economists find the two-month drop, the largest since 1958, too good to be true and expect it to edge back up in the months ahead.
- 21 Jan 2011:China has apparently overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy, after data released on Jan. 20 showed double-digit growth for 2010. The growth effectively displaces its Asian neighbor from a global ranking it has held since 1968.
- 18 Jan 2011:Foreign direct investment in China hit a record US$105.7 billion last year, highlighting growing confidence in the economy even as Beijing seeks to rein in growth. China attracted US$14.03 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in December alone, up 15.6% from a year earlier.
- 17 Jan 2011:China's President Hu Jintao has said the international currency system was "a product of the past." He also implicitly criticized the Federal Reserve's recent decision to pump 600 billion dollars into the US economy, a move criticized as weakening the dollar at the expense of other countries' exports. The comments came ahead of a state visit to Washington on Wednesday.
- 14 Jan 2011:The global economy will slow this year, with developing countries such as India and China providing a greater share of growth, the World Bank has predicted.
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