business

Japanese shoppers open their wallets, raising hopes for sustained revival

30 Comments
By Stanley White and Chehui Peh

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30 Comments
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Unfortunately, this is totally Tokyo centric! If you go out into the smaller cities and towns, they are dying faster than ever as Tokyo and Osaka sucks in more and more people. There are no jobs, there are no wage increases. So sure, Tokyo is doing ok, but unless Japan plans on becoming another Singapore, city/state, then we are still in trouble,

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I think this is just media induced fantasy no doubt cooked up with a government agenda to make people think they are doing a good job. I have friend in Tokyo who has been in the same business for over 30 years! His business is non essential items which people buy or invest in when they have extra money. He has never seen it worse! I'll take the news direct from the horses mouth in this case rather than the horse rear fender which is where I suspect this article originated. As the Zen master says...we'll see.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

MarkX ...very true, Japan certainly is a two speed " economy with Tokyo and to( an extent Osaka and Nagoya ) are travelling at a different speed to the rest of Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Abenomics in action.  Bill to be paid later by a smaller population.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Really? I don't see that wages are rising, but prices definitely go up.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Will be interesting to see whether the next set of figures holds btw.

Ill take a guess that if personal consume drops its inevitably gonna be the " unusual " weather that will take the blame....as usual.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sure it's not all the tourists coming to Japan to buy. They all go away with heaps.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Interesting title. Is this what Japanese are really thinking when they open their wallets?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

People get their bonuses in July. It will be back to the normal stagnant consumer spending next month.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Some of Abe’s structural reforms, such as narrowing the wage gap between contractors and full-time employees doing the same work, raising the minimum wage, and encouraging people to move to better-paying jobs, are also starting to pay off.

This is all news to me.

I was under the impression that the wage gap has not been narrowed at all; the government has only been talking about it.

I was also under the impression that the minimum wage hasn't been raised (although I wish it would be, just to see what results from it, which I suspect won't be much good).

And, I was certainly under the impression that Japanese people continue to prefer job stability to better-paying jobs. Nor was I even aware of any "structural reform" by Abe to actually boost incentives for people to change jobs. First I ever heard it suggested in fact.

Can anyone fill me in? 

Or is this article perhaps completely wrong and trying to desparately provide explanation for how Japan could report a quarterly growth jump of 1% ? 

Personally I think it's just a fluke and the "growth" will not prove to be sustained.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Educator60: people are free to waste their money however they see fit. Based on the vast majority of recent news, young couples have unsteady incomes and uncertain futures. Having a sudden windfall then blowing it on a "girlfriend" is asinine. He will regret it. Sadly, wisdom must be earned.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Before the tax rise. Another false dawn.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So wages rise when unemployment rate falls below 3%? I thought the opposite would be true: in an economy with labor shortage, companies would raise wages to keep employees or when hiring new ones in order to remain competitive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When Japanese companies make huge profit and not ready to increase wages this trend is not sustainable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nonsense. Come to Kansai, it's not happening here. Tokyo is not Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Things are definitely looking upm - that's why the real estate market in Tokyo is so hot:  once again Tokyo is not Japan, you watch the Tokyo property market drop like a bucket of bolts when the post Olympic hangover kicks in.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's just cause it's been raining so much this summer, people have nothing else to do but go to the shopping mall.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

"I ended a big project today, and I wanted to give a present to my girlfriend who has always been supportive, so I bought her a Tiffany necklace," said Yusuke Kawashima, a 29-year-old freelance software programmer in Tokyo.

This is just wrong on so many levels... Poor guy is falling into the beta trap putting a woman on a pedestal and trying to buy her love.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

That's what I get for buying a car that is becoming popular! new cars are a waste of money considering how fast they depreciate, ive owned over 30 different vehicles since being in Japan currently own 4 and none of them being new. the great bargains you can get with used vehicles in Japan its just not economical to buy new. Then again Ive bought all my cars directly at used vehicle auctions and only bought one at a used car dealership, great when you can cut out the middle man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Reckless,

"Having a sudden windfall then blowing it on a "girlfriend" is asinine. "

We don't know how big his "windfall" is nor what proportion of it he is using to buy the necklace. Nor do we know anything else about his financial situation. It may or may not be an unwise decision for him to buy a necklace. But that seems to be quite another issue to "putting a woman on a pedestal and trying to buy her love."

For the record, I have never received a Tiffany necklace, do not expect to ever receive one, and have no desire to ever receive (or even buy for myself) one. ;-)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@RationalReader

I would suggest that you travel a little.As other posters have said Tokyo is not indicative of the rest of Japan.

I bought a house in Kobe (outright) yet that is impossible in Tokyo unless your descendants are willing to pay off part of the loan .......,

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't care what he wants to spend his money on, his girlfriend, his business, but I did think it was interesting that he spent the money on a Tiffany necklace, rather than a Tasaki Shinju necklace.

Unless Japanese production ramps up, I can't see the economic "growth" as being sustainable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I ended a big project today, and I wanted to give a present to my girlfriend who has always been supportive, so I bought her a Tiffany necklace," said Yusuke Kawashima, a 29-year-old freelance software programmer in Tokyo.

This just screams beta male slavery. Seriously dude, MGTOW. Build yourself as a man and the women will follow. Please don't put princesses on pedestals - it's good for neither men or women.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Reckless,

Seriously? Did you miss where he says his girlfriend has always been supportive? It appears he already has her love and doesn't need to buy it. As he is a freelancer, presumably the big project involves a big payment to him and he is sharing that with his girlfriend in gratitude to her. What's wrong with that?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Before the tax rise

It is loooong before the tax rise though, isn't it? 

The hike to 10% isn't going to happen until 2019, if I recall Abe's latest plan correctly. 

I predict that economic "growth" will be stellar in the quarter prior to the hike to 10%, and crap in the quarter that it takes effect. And I also predict that everyone will forget the stellar quarter quickly, and moan and whinge about the crappy quarter forever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two factors are dooming Japan 1.decrease in the population 2.the aging population.

Economic reality is an increase in taxes for those spending and working in Japan.

The trend is patently clear and it is downward......

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Color me skeptical. The LDP and Abe need a boost in their popularity, and Japan Inc needs to repay Abe and the LDP for being the main beneficiaries of Abenomics. Given Japan Inc's record of accounting accuracy, they can use creative math to put a positive spin on their bottom lines. If Abe, the LDP, and the BOJ can make people think that the economy is improving, perhaps people may believe so.

Until Japan's rapid decline in population levels off, real growth is not possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Personally speaking, when it comes to cars, I bought a new one, back in June, and it STILL has not been delivered. It's going to end up taking about 10 weeks for delivery.

That's what I get for buying a car that is becoming popular!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

They are evoking young consumers.

When younger, If more money, it would go to house renovation and furniture, not clothes and jewellery.

Is that only bonus being spent from pocket money by young people on a periodical basis.

Building sector, IT development, Industry technologies are the domains to expand your economy (and tourism!)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Please issue massive work visas to foreigners to support this momentum of growth. More people working and paying into the system while consuming will defray tax increase. Consider using unconventional methods to continue stoking the economy. Good luck.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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