Data from Japan overnight is a salutary sight. The level of unemployment in June dropped to 2.8 per cent, the lowest since 1994. The ratio of jobs on offer to the number of potential applicants is 1.51, from just 0.43 in 2009 and the highest level of jobs available since 1973 (1.84 record high). Meanwhile consumer prices across the whole of the nation rose by an annualised 0.4 per cent when volatile fresh food prices are excluded (the preferred measure of the Japanese). If one also excludes energy prices then deflation (or negative inflation) is running at 0.1 per cent. No wonder the Bank of Japan has once again postponed the day of reckoning when they will reach their 2.0 per cent CPI target.
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