Japan economy remains fragile

Japan’s jobless rate edged higher and industrial production fell slightly in February as consumer prices also fell, underscoring the fragility of the recovery of the world’s third-largest economy.

The government data released yesterday showed the main consumer price index fell 0.3 per cent from a year earlier as deflation continued to defy the combined efforts of the government and central bank to move toward a 2 per cent inflation target. However, the CPI was up 0.1 per cent from January’s figure.

Unemployment rose to 4.3 per cent from 4.2 per cent, while industrial production slipped by 0.1 per cent in the first decline in three months. The unemployment rate for those below the age of 35 is 6 per cent.