Japanese Imports Plummet in May as Investment Contracts

Japan’s Merchandise Trade Imports plummeted -42.4% in the year through May, slumping even more from the already pessimistic -35.8% decline in the 12 months through April. Economists had forecast the figure to fall only -41.1%. Additional sluggishness in the metric may be coming off the back on sluggish investment. Q1 saw the Capital Spending figure plummet significantly more than in the final three months of 2008 and may have spilled over into Q2. Machine Orders in April tanked by -5.4% in April after economists expected the figure to only contract by -0.6%. Clearly, investment lacks any clear indication that it will turnaround any time soon.