Top Japanese economic index hits highest point since 2011

A LEADING indicator of Japan’s economic health struck its highest reading since late 2011 in March, according to data released by the country’s Economic and Social Research Institute.

This news is the latest in a string of good news stories for Japan’s economy, ticking up since Shinzo Abe’s election in December last year. Abe made Haruhiko Kuroda governor of the Bank of Japan, beginning a programme of unconventional monetary policy.

Increased asset purchases by the Bank has prompted the yen to weaken considerably against the dollar.

Last week, Japanese growth, consumption and industrial production figures were released, all rising 0.9 per cent on the quarter. The Nikkei has shot up over the same period, rising nearly 50 per cent in the year so far.

However, Capital Economics voiced caution, suggesting that the return of weak performance might impact Japan most severely. “Japanese equities have the led the way up, and could yet lead on the way down,” Capital said in a note.