JAPAN DEFICIT: Japan's trade deficit rose nearly 10 percent in May to 993.9 billion yen (nearly $10.5 billion), highlighting the challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces in revitalizing manufacturing as industries increasingly shift production offshore.
YEN YO-YO: A weakening in the yen's value has pushed up costs for imports of crude oil, natural gas and other commodities for this resource-scarce nation, but the deficit in May was bigger than economists had expected.
SLOW GOING: Japan's economy grew at a 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter and is forecast to continue its recovery this year thanks to government stimulus spending and aggressive monetary easing. But sustained growth will depend on getting Japan's cash-rich corporations to do more hiring and spending at home.
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Politics & Government
- Shinzo Abe