This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Japan Jobless Rate Up, Prices, Manufacturing Fall

By ELAINE KURTENBACH

TOKYO (AP) â¿¿ 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 Friday showed the main consumer price index fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier as deflation continued to defy the combined efforts of the government and central bank to move toward a 2 percent inflation target. However the CPI was up 0.1 percent from January's figure.

Unemployment rose to 4.3 percent from 4.2 percent the month before, while industrial production slipped by 0.1 percent in the first decline in three months. The unemployment rate for those below the age of 35 is significantly higher, at over 6 percent.

Japan's central bank governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, said Thursday that he believed the economy was improving after years of stagnation and would enter a moderate recovery by midyear. But he acknowledged high uncertainty because of the global economy.

Kuroda has pledged to work with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government in achieving the 2 percent inflation target set in January, preferably within two years, and ending years of growth-inhibiting deflation.

After taking power late last year, Abe's administration embarked on an aggressive stimulus program of government spending, monetary easing and planned reforms aimed at improving Japan's competitiveness. Revised figures show Japan's economy likely emerged from a recession late last year, but other data has been mixed.

The government's strategy will depend on getting consumers, whose spending accounts for the lion's share of economic activity, to spend more, and that in turn will hinge on encouraging companies to raise wages and increasing higher. Many companies huge cash reserves after having shed debt from the collapse of the economic bubble over 20 years ago but are wary of increasing investment given the existing weak demand and the aging and shrinking of the Japanese population.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,001.22 -38.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 1,988.40 -3.97 -0.20%
NASDAQ 4,538.5510 +6.4470 0.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs