Are Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s attempts to revive the Japanese economy failing? Recent data have been “mixed at best”, says the Financial Times. Japan’s GDP shrank by 1.7% between April and June as a new consumption tax hit spending. the economy appears to be stagnating – casting doubt on hopes for a third-quarter rebound. Industrial production edged up by 0.2% in July, not enough to reverse a 3.4% plunge the month before. Retail sales fell by 0.5% in July, the first fall since April.
Meanwhile, the job-to-applicant ratio, a gauge of labour-market tightness, remained [...]