The month of March was not kind to the second-largest economy in the world, as jobless rates and household spending are sure to take a toll on markets and exchange traded funds (ETFs).
During the month of March, the jobless rate in Japan jumped to the highest level in four years, while household spending has halted and deflationary fears are looming. Tomoko A. Hosaka for Yahoo Finance reports that the government released a bullish report on industrial production, but as of Friday the unemployment rate rose to 4.8%, up from 4.4% in February,the worst reading since August 2004.
However, the unemployment picture may be worse than the number indicates, as rates do not include those who have simply stopped looking for work. The real economy is at stake since employment pictures lag the bigger picture of manufacturing and production.
- iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ): down 9.8% year-to-date
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