The near future of Japan’s economy and its related exchange traded fund (ETF) are flashing mixed signals.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development states that Japan’s economy is looking better as slow domestic demand creeps higher, thanks to increasing wages and a jump in housing starts, reports Jesse Emspak for Investor’s Business Daily.
On the other side of the coin, Lord Abbett & Co.’s Senior Economist Milton Ezrati says that Japan’s co-dependence on exports and the high savings rate will hurt domestic demand and shows no sign of transformation.
iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ) has supported this theory slightly, as it’s down 1.4% year-to-date. While the year-to-date numbers aren’t so hot, the fund has actually gone up 13.6% in the last three months.
Meanwhile, the latest earthquake that rattled northern Japan is still giving rescuers a hard time, with as many as 470 aftershocks stifling rescue efforts. The earthquake was the same size as the Kobe quake in January 1995, reports Junji Kurokawa for the Associated Press. Last month’s quake in the Sichuan province of China was a magnitude 7.8.