Japan: investors ignore good news

The good news just keeps coming in Japan. Employees’ earnings grew by 0.9% year-on-year in August, slightly down from 1.6% in July.

The good news just keeps coming in Japan. Employees' earnings grew by 0.9% year-on-year in August, slightly down from 1.6% in July. The fact growth has decreased "is not a disaster", says Freya Beamish of Pantheon Macroeconomics. "It's already quite something that Japanese wage growth was ever high enough to fall to 0.9%." And besides, the details of the data imply that the labour market is getting even tighter.

Under prime minister Shinzo Abe employment growth "has exceeded any reasonable expectations", notes Jonathan Allum on The Blah. The number of Japanese people of working age has declined by 4.5 million over the past five years, but there are 2.5 million more in employment, partly because more women have entered the workforce. This is "remarkable".

At the same time, "Japan's labour constraints have forced it to accelerate its adoption of automation", says Lex in the Financial Times. Companies such as Fanuc and Sony are market leaders in robotics. The government also keeps promoting better corporate governance. "Companies are under pressure to unwind irrational holding structures and put the cash trapped in them to better uses." But while Japan's prospects keep improving and the market remains attractively priced, foreign investors have sold nearly all the stocks they acquired since the advent of Abenomics in 2012, say CLSA analysts. Time to buy.

Recommended

Think Tesla is a bubble? This might be the best way to bet on it bursting
Oil

Think Tesla is a bubble? This might be the best way to bet on it bursting

The huge rise in Tesla’s share price means that, by market value, it’s now the sixth-largest company in the US and and the world’s biggest car-maker. …
25 Jan 2021
Three clean energy stocks for your portfolio
Share tips

Three clean energy stocks for your portfolio

Professional investor Christian Roessing of the Pictet Clean Energy Fund highlights of his three favourite stocks at the forefront of the clean energy…
25 Jan 2021
The MoneyWeek Podcast: let's talk about bubbles
Stockmarkets

The MoneyWeek Podcast: let's talk about bubbles

Merryn and John talk about the many obvious signs of a bubble in certain assets, including tech stocks, TikTok, and stock-trading 12-year olds. It's c…
22 Jan 2021
Eternal growth: how to invest in the future of the drinks industry
Share tips

Eternal growth: how to invest in the future of the drinks industry

Humans have been dabbling in tasty beverages for millennia. Jonathan Compton assesses the key trends in the sector and recommends seven hard- and soft…
22 Jan 2021

Most Popular

The FTSE 100 is set for a makeover with an influx of new tech stocks
UK stockmarkets

The FTSE 100 is set for a makeover with an influx of new tech stocks

The FTSE 100 – the dullest index in the world – is about to reinvent itself as a host of new firms list on the market. The change is long overdue, say…
24 Jan 2021
Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Think Tesla is a bubble? This might be the best way to bet on it bursting
Oil

Think Tesla is a bubble? This might be the best way to bet on it bursting

The huge rise in Tesla’s share price means that, by market value, it’s now the sixth-largest company in the US and and the world’s biggest car-maker. …
25 Jan 2021