The Week In Numbers: Land Of The Setting Sun

According to the Financial Times, capital is gushing out of emerging markets. It seems that net capital outflow from the 19 largest emerging markets reached US$940b in the 13 months to the end of July. The outflow is a sharp reversal of the US$2 trillion that flowed into emerging markets from June 2009 to the end of June last year. Easy come, easy go!

Japan’s economy shrank at an annualised rate of 1.6% in the second quarter. Apparently all the good that was done in the first quarter quickly unravelled in the second three months of the year. But officials claim that the setback was only temporary. Critics, however, suggest that money-printing by the Bank of Japan is only masking underlying structural problems in the economy. Time will tell.

The bomb blast in Thailand this week that killed at least 22 people could hurt the country’s tourism industry. The horrific attack is expected to hinder economic growth in the country that has only recently started to show signs of recovery. Following the explosion, the Thai baht slumped against the US dollar, and the stock market fell 2.5%.

According to a recent survey, consumer confidence in Singapore is on the rebound. Consumers feel good about the economy, their income and their quality of life. The Consumer Confidence index reading of 65.3 is some 4% higher than in the second half of 2014.

And finally, crude oil is heading down to $40 a barrel. The price is close to a six-year low, following news of an increase in US oil inventories. Experts reckon that prices are unlikely to rise unless there is a cutback in supply. That seems unlikely for the moment. But airline ticket prices still seem unreasonably high.

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