With Japan’s economy in recession, the Bank of Japan still sees recovery ahead in the fourth quarter, and disappointing trade figures out on Thursday didn't dent the central bank’s optimism. Meg Teckman reports.
After falling into recession in the third quarter, Japan's getting a rocky start to Q4. Declining 2.1 percent, exports in October fell for the first time in over a year as demand from slowing China and the rest of the world outweighed the weak yen. Perhaps more disappointing though were import figures. Imports fell over 13 percent compared to last year - mainly due to falling oil prices. And as the country imports almost all of its oil, this dip in prices logged Japan its first trade surplus after six months of deficit. This soft data is in contrast to the Bank of Japan's optimistic view that the economy can stage a recovery in this quarter. The central bank held off more easing on Thursday (November 19) and Governor Kuroda maintained his rosy outlook. The BOJ trimmed its growth and inflation forecasts in October's policy meeting without a rate cut and analysts are strongly divided on a timeline for further stimulus moves. ENDS