Real quick, here are two horrendous datapoints from Japan.
- Core machinery orders for the month of February fell a staggering 8.8% month-over-month. A decline of just over 2% was expected, reports ForexLive.
- A major department store in Japan says so far in April, sales are down 25%. The reason for this is that at the start of the month, Japan let the consumption tax rise from 5% to 8%, despite the obvious potential for an economic drag. This only puts more pressure, of course, on the Bank of Japan to step on the gas pedal to keep the economy going. And it’s worth bearing in mind that while a 25% decline in sales is terrible, it might be a bit overstated if shoppers got in some extra pre-tax hike shopping in anticipation. Still, that’s gonna leave a mark.