Japan’s consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since August 2011, and the government cut its economic assessment for the first time in 17 months, as a sales- tax increase on April 1 sapped the public’s spending power.
Japan’s central bank will probably double purchases of exchange-traded funds in a second round of monetary easing under Governor Haruhiko Kuroda anticipated in coming months, a Bloomberg News survey of economists shows.
Economists are split over how long Japan’s government has to rein in the world’s biggest debt burden, a Bloomberg News survey shows, adding to a debate on whether the government should keep ratcheting up a sales tax.
Japan’s industrial production grew the most since 2011, indicating the economy is strengthening as a looming sales-tax bump stimulates demand, while inflation matched the highest level in more than five years.
Investors were unfazed by Moody’s Investors Service’s decision today to lower Japan’s sovereign rating, unlike in the U.S., where Standard & Poor’s roiled global markets when it cut the U.S. AAA ranking for the first time on Aug. 5.