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Japan: What the “Bloomberg Inflation Barometer” Suggests for Summer

Yes, Bloomberg has an "inflation barometer" and it's pointing lower for Japan.

The eight components of the Bloomberg Inflation Barometer are 1) Oil 2) Yen 3) Output 4) Wages 5) Business Sentiment 6) Consumer Sentiment 7) Retail Sales and 8) Mobile Phone Charges.

Insights are provided in this March 3 Bloomberg article excerpt:

The inflation outlook is looking dismal for the Bank of Japan as cheaper oil and falling mobile phone charges threaten to push price growth toward zero by mid-summer.

GroundZeroJapan

The Bloomberg Inflation Barometer, which draws on eight drivers of prices, points to a sharp slowing in the months ahead as lower oil costs feed their way into electricity bills. Over the past eight years the barometer has shown a 0.84 correlation with consumer prices six months into the future.

Mobile phone carriers could complicate the BOJ's quest to revive inflation as they come under political pressure to lower charges further. And making matters worse, free education measures planned by the government are already projected by the BOJ to shave another 0.3 percentage point from inflation later in the year. …

The BOJ is trying to generate 2 percent inflation and has pledged to continue its stimulus program until its goal is achieved.

The central bank has already slashed its inflation forecasts for the fiscal year starting in April to 0.9 percent from 1.4 percent. But even this forecast looks overly optimistic.

Interestingly, EWI's September 2018 Global Market Perspective included Japan in its commentary about negative bond yields and growing deflationary pressures:

Pop quiz: What do these economically noteworthy countries have in common: Germany, France, Switzerland, Japan, Austria, Portugal and the Netherlands? Answer: Nine years into a global economic expansion, their two-year government debt still carries a negative yield. If an investor wants to be guaranteed to lose money safely, owning the two-year government debt of these countries will do the trick. The reality is that negative bond yields reflect the intensifying deflationary pressures of a global economic stagnation that will eventually morph into an outright contraction.

Now is the time to learn all you can about deflation.

Read the free report, "What You Need to Know Now About Protecting Yourself from Deflation."

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