Global Economic Analysis and News of Note
- In a reading that was significantly better than analysts had predicted, the Japanese government said the nation’s economy expanded at a 3.9 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of 2015. NLI Research Institute Economist Taro Saito said, “Japan is in on a trajectory for a recovery.” An increase in business investment was a key factor in the positive report.
- The Chinese government announced last week that imports declined 17.6 percent percent in May while exports dropped 2.5 percent. It was the seventh month in a row imports were down and the drop was more significant than anticipated. According to Agence France Press, the announcement “provided further evidence that frailty in the Chinese economy, a key driver of world growth, has extended into the current quarter despite intensified government stimulus measures.”
- Auto sales in China also disappointed analysts last week, declining 0.4 percent between May 2014 and May 2015. Production of autos also declined, dropping 0.58 percent year-over-year.