Japan’s core consumer inflation was steady in January from a year earlier in a sign a strengthening economy has yet to prompt companies to raise prices, a challenge policymakers have yet to overcome despite years of massive stimulus.
Buoyant sales of cars and electronics led Japan’s exports to a 14th straight month of growth in January but manufacturers’ business confidence slid — highlighting fears of the rising yen disrupting an export-led recovery.
Japan’s reputation for flawless manufacturing quality and efficiency transformed the country’s postwar economy, changed business practices world-wide and spawned a library’s worth of management manuals and business advice books. Now, the model is cracking.
China hopes to work with Japan to get relations back onto a normal track, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart on Sunday, amid a series of disputes, some dating back to before World War Two.
Japan’s exports to China and Asia hit record levels as shipments rose for a 13th straight month in December and manufacturing growth hit a four-year high in January, pointing to an economy that powered through the fourth quarter and into 2018.