By Mike Campbell
When Japan’s Q3 growth figures were initially released, they were estimated at a healthy 4.8% on an annualised rate. The Cabinet Office has just released revised figures which show that the true growth rate was a lacklustre 1.3%. One factor behind this slump was that the amount of money that companies had invested in new assets had been significantly overestimated. The estimate had been a 1.6% expansion whereas in reality, there was a 2.8% contraction in such investment. The Q3 growth was just 0.3% over the Q2 figure which shows the fragility of the Japanese recovery.
Oil Price At 8 Week Low
Oil is said to lubricate the global economy. Its price has fallen for the last five days to an 8 week low on the back of a rally in the value of the US Dollar and jitters over demand. The US Energy Information Administration recently lowered its forecast for global oil demand next year by 0.15million barrels a day to 1.1 million which triggered the fall. In London, the benchmark Brent crude oil fell to $75.19 a barrel for January delivery.
Greek Debt Hits Shares
Greece is a member of the Eurozone and it has the highest debt level within Europe and is the costliest to serve. In 2010, the debt burden is predicted to amount to 125% of the country’s GDP. Concerns about the country’s ability to service its debt have been blamed for a 6% drop in share value on the Athens stock exchange. The credit rating agency, Fitch, has reduced the country’s rating downwards to its lowest level in ten years. The move caused Greek bonds to be marked down. The Greek government is coming under increasing pressure from the European Commission to take decisive measures to reduce the country’s deficit.
Disclosure: No positions