So Much For That Japanese Recovery: Large Manufacturer Confidence Plummets

Tyler Durden's picture

So much for the Japanese renaissance which somehow is supposed to lead to a surge in Q3 US GDP growth. Following yesterday's surprisingly strong factory production growth rate of +5.7% (the second highest in history), every economist (and Joe LaVorgna), was already shifting their strawman from declining energy costs (which are now back to early June levels courtesy of the IEA idiocy), to Japan as the last bastion of growth. Alas, the just released Tankan quarterly index of large manufacturer confidence has confirmed that the rumors of Japan's economic reincarnation have been greatly exaggerated after it dropped by the most since the Lehman collapse, plunging from +6 in March to -9, well below the economist (and Joe LaVorgna) consensus of -7. From Bloomberg: "Forecasts by Panasonic Corp. (6752) and Hitachi Ltd. for weaker earnings have added to signs of depressed demand. Monetary tightening by Asian economies grappling with inflation means that Japanese companies also can’t count on customers within the region for boosting sales. “The global economy is starting to slow, heightening uncertainties about its future direction,” Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at BNP Paribas in Tokyo, said before the report. “The downside risks to China and other emerging economies seem to be on the rise." In other words, the global economic growth is impacting Japan, and it is not the Japanese slowdown that is impairing some mythical global growth story. Of course, by the time the economist (and Joe LaVorgna) pool figures this out, QE 3 will be well on its way.

There's more:

Household demand has also been weak, with consumer outlays sliding 1.9 percent in May, a report today showed, a larger drop that predicted by analysts. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 4.5 percent as more people gave up on looking for work and disaster areas were excluded from the survey. Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 0.6 percent in May, the government said.

Panasonic last week forecast full-year profit will tumble 59 percent in the fiscal year started April after the earthquake disrupted factories and suppliers. Sales of car-related components and mobile phones will probably drop because of supply-chain bottlenecks, Panasonic’s Chief Financial Officer Makoto Uenoyama said.

Hitachi Ltd. last month forecast net income will drop 16 percent this fiscal year after the temblor crippled its factories.

Recent data indicates that the recovery in the corporate sector may be stalled. Machinery orders, an indicator of future capital spending, dropped for the first time in four months in April. Exports fell more than economists projected in May from a year earlier. On a seasonally adjusted basis the shipments increased 2.5 percent in May from April.

On the other hand, when you don't get what you want, you can always hope. Just ask the American population circa November 2008:

There are also signs that Japan is recovering from the temblor. Industrial output rising at the fastest pace in more than 50 years in May as carmakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. restore their plant operations ahead of schedule.

Today’s report showed manufacturers see the sentiment index improving to 2 in September and large companies said they plan to boost capital spending 4.2 percent this year, exceeding economists’ predictions of a 2.4 percent increase.

As for the previously noted surge in production, well, that has now plateaued as well:

Production is expected to rise 5.3% m/m in June -- revised down from the 7.7% rise previously estimated -- and will increase further by 0.5% in July (first estimate), according to the government's latest survey of firms' forecasts.

[H]eightened concern over the outlook for business conditions on the back of the ongoing nuclear crisis and concern over a electricity supply shortage this summer are causing firms to put some capital investments on hold.

And to end things on a humorous note, heeeeeere's Joey:

Commentary for Friday: The Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was much better than expected, rising to 61.1 in June from 56.6 previously. Given its geographical proximity to the motor vehicle industry and its later monthly release date relative to the earlier month PMI releases—in particular the NY (-7.8) and Philadelphia (-7.7) Fed surveys, which were both sharply negative in June—the recovery in the Chicago PMI strongly suggests that manufacturing activity got a noticeable boost from improving auto sector conditions in the back half of the month. We expect this improvement to continue through the second half of the year, consistent with what are noticeable gains in motor vehicle production schedules. This should add at least one full percentage point to real GDP growth if not more in both Q3 and Q4 2011. In light of the Chicago news, we are raising our ISM forecast significantly from where we were previously. As we wrote in the US Daily Economic Notes earlier this week, the Chicago PMI has nearly twice the weight in a regression-based estimate of the ISM relative to the combined weight of the NY and Philadelphia Fed surveys. Our new ISM forecast is 53.0 versus a pre-Chicago forecast of 49.5. Remember that based on what we had seen in the NY and Philadelphia Fed surveys, we had assumed Chicago would come in at 53.0. More importantly, regardless of this morning’s ISM results, recent economic data from Japan point to a sharp increase in the ISM next month.

As shown in the chart below, a weighted average of the Japanese manufacturing and services PMIs has been a good leading indicator of the ISM. When the Japanese PMIs rolled over in March (-15.0 points) and softened further in April (- 1.0), this foreshadowed a sharp decline in the May ISM (-6.9), and what we think will be a slight drop in June. Since then, the Japanese PMI data have recovered strongly in May (+11.2 points) which hints at a sharp bounce in the July ISM, given the formers’ two-month lead.

We are confident the markets will ignore today’s construction data but it is important for estimates of Q2 real GDP since construction  was down so much in Q1 (-8.5%). Through April, we have seen modest gains in residential and commercial construction (+3.0% and +9.3% respectively). We are optimistic this recovery will continue. —JL

Well of course you are. Although we sure would love to see a matrix somewhere that indicates what your bonus will be based on (i) the (in)accuracy of your predictions, which so far are among the worst on Wall Street, and (ii) based on what the actual final "growth" of the economy is at the end of the year.

Update: as we type this, the Chinese manufacturing PMI has just come out at 50.9, down from 52.0 and below expectations of 51.5. 

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Caviar Emptor's picture

Excellent, CD! More retro-kitch to enjoy

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But honest to God, no one could have seen this coming. Honest! Cross my heart and hope to die honest.

Ya gotta believe me. I wouldn't lie to you, there's no percentage in it. I swear to God on my mother's grave.

Trust me!

Caviar Emptor's picture

"I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won't deceive you except in matters of this sort. "
Spiro T. Agnew

Element's picture

 "Surprise, surprise, surprise."


Reminded me of Pink Floyd "... Is there any body ... out-there?"

BORT's picture

 I did some research. The usage of Petroleum products in total, as produced by the EIA; shows the following. Peak usage was October 2007 (denoted as 100 for reference) Minimum was 89.58 in February of 2010. Next peak was 92.2 in Feb 2011. It has rolled over and is now at 91.77
These are 52 week moving averages, using the data supplied at
They seem to be pretty good predictors of a recession. Everyone is blaming Japan, but what about the loss of the local government stimulus funds, ending of POMO, and continuing low income growth?

Caviar Emptor's picture

Funny how little meat is left on the bone when the stimulus fat melts away

holdbuysell's picture

That's ok, the US Fed will just hold the markets up by just printing more...uh...



max2205's picture

So at what price does the SPX need to be before we go positive the last 10 years?......

BORT's picture

2000 peak was 1530, and then the bottom fell out down to 768.  Depends on exactly how you bought your stake.  I'm guessing a lot of 401 K money is still underwater in stocks

anvILL's picture

That didn't really help since it caused the yen to surge significantly.

squexx's picture

The Japanese Government lies as much as the US Government. No surprise there!

sabra1's picture

noticed that too. bad news drives their markets higher. must be the chinese buying something or the other!

Oh regional Indian's picture

CE, at one time, saving face in Japan did not mean lying.

It meant speaking the whole truth and then taking your-self out of the equation.

But on an increasing basis since early white influence and finally peaking and dying with the Emperor's capitulation after WWII, Japan has been a walking dead society, with no mooring left from it's past and the cloying, de-stroying American influence gutting them completely from with-in.

In a strange way, Fukushima was bound to happen. When Japan was Pure Land, Even the wind-gods considered them worthy of saving.


chump666's picture

and China/Sth Korea PMI's are collapsing. All eyes on miner stocks

Hedge Jobs's picture

yep, china PMI at 50.9 down from 52. exp was 51.5

smlbizman's picture

i know this is completly off topic but wtf...i'm watching clinton..i'm drinking...i think i'm glad the big "O" is pres.....having clinton would be like burning at the stake and being skinned...having big "O" is like being prisoned raped  for 100 days straight,..... some how that seems like the best choice


and just a quick check at mention of nebraska and fuckin run...

Caviar Emptor's picture

Dang those stingy US consumers! How dare they save their money? What the world needs is a good indoctrination program to revive "shop till ya drop"  

zorba THE GREEK's picture

 'Japanese household demand is weak' 

  Is that including all the households in a 30 km radius of

 Fuki Nuki? Or are they referring to all the households 

 along the beautiful, recently reconfigured coastline?


hamurobby's picture

They would call them and ask, but they keep getting...

 "The phone number you have called, has been


Misean's picture

Not to worry. The Japanese keynsian ass-hats are mailing out radioactive rocks to the citizenry to smash through windows. Q3 GDP is about to rocket.

chump666's picture

goldman still going long AUD/JPY? haha


Hondo's picture

The level of prduction is what counts. A 5.7% increase from a zero base means nothing but for some reason most economist especially from the street are math challenged.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I will be able to contribute an anecdotal data point re production in Japan re bearings upon my return from Peru on July 15.  (Anyone interested in our little Peruvian bearing import company send me a gmail at my name for a link to my blog).

The president and owner of one of our bearing suppliers visits with us on July 12 and will likely give us some insights into his own production situation (note that most bearing production in Japan is in the relatively unscathed area of SW Japan).

The ever faithful Bearing will pass along to Zero Hedge whatever he is able to glean from our meeting.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

BTW folks, DSK in the process of skating, now that he was kept out of the way long enough for Greece to surrender:


jm's picture

China is in serious trouble, no point in denying it.

Just look at 7-day interbank repo rates (the real reference rate).

zorba THE GREEK's picture

 This may be off subject but is likely to be of interest to ZH

 followers: I read earlier on 321 gold that the big players

 are setting up for a huge silver short over the long weekend.

 With the low volume, they could bring the price down to

  $26. If this puts you at risk, better check it out .

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Aren't there about what, 5 different gold threads you could have put that on?

Smiddywesson's picture

Let me recap the last week or so for my fellow simians.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admits, after spending trillions of dollars, that he doesn't really know why the economy isn't rebounding.

Barry Obama, who promised us change and then proceeded to appoint the very same people that the last jackass appointed (whom I, another jackass, voted for), admitted that the solution is that we need to address the budget deficit to create jobs.  I kid you not, the very same president who entered his term with the agenda that budget deficits and stimulus would create jobs has now taken the stance that confronting those very same budget deficits will create jobs.  This is comedy at its finest.

Neither party is going to solve this problem.  Stop blaming Bush or Obama, they are pawns.  The whole system has to burn to the ground before this gets better.

krispkritter's picture

From one simian to another, Amen brother...

oldman's picture

It's OK. Smiddy

It has already burned to the ground; now it is just trying to bury itself

oldman's picture


Atomizer's picture

Future MSM headlines..

"Japan supply chain disruption will create new recovery bubbles."

Ned Zeppelin's picture

economist (and Joe LaVorgna)


donpaulo's picture

complete and total pablum


Japan is going to have growth... its magic ! ask harry potter he knows how to do that kind of stuff.


Meanwhile the govt bureaucrats and the prime ministers office aren't talking, the pump at fukushima is broken and the plan to cover the building with a plastic tarp is on schedule for Sept.


japan is going to have growth ya'll. believe it


it will be mutatious


zorba THE GREEK's picture

 Sorry c o but Zorba is computer illiterate and doesn't yet

 know how to put treads in comment, but learning fast.

 To change subject, who didn't know DSK was set up?

 For paybacks he should tell what he knows about empty

 Fort Knox.

Smiddywesson's picture

 Told you, excrement throwing simians.  This whole case stunk, and yet you joined the masses.  Gustuv Le Bon is laughting at you.  EVERYTHING you take for granted in this world is phoney.  Most conspiracy theories, let's say 19 out of 20, are baseless.  But in the world of money, 19 out of 20 are true, nes pas?
Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as in Jeopardy By JIM DWYER, WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and JOHN ELIGON Published: June 30, 2011

This article is by Jim DwyerWilliam K. Rashbaum and John Eligon.; background-position: 0% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;" href="">Enlarge This Image

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

Dominique Strauss-Kahn could be released on his own recognizance, and freed from house arrest.; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: transparent; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 7px; background-position: 0% 0%; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat; border-width: 0px !important;">
Related; background-position: 0% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;" href="">Enlarge This Image

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrived at Manhattan Criminal Court for his arraignment in New York on June 6.; background-attachment: scroll; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: #ebf1f5; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 20px; margin-left: 0px; background-position: 0% 0%; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: initial; background-position: 0% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">Readers' Comments; background-attachment: scroll; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: #ebf1f5; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-style: solid; border-top-color: white; background-position: 0% 100%; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;">
Share your thoughts.

The sexual assault case againstDominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Well, well, you have to understand....These important people that are part of the elite club are under such pressure trying to keep the world in order....we have to overlook a few things they do once in a while...they're not like you and me

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Nope.  No way.

There had been a story just about 2 weeks prior that the IMF had made it clear Ireland was going to be allowed to default.  The Irish FM declared "You have saved Ireland!"

He Was Going To Do The Same For Greece.

He Had To Be Gotten Out Of the Way.

So just The Very Day Greece votes to betray its own citizens, we hear he'll skate.  What a coincidence!


AwlDone's picture

Just about Spit-up through my nose while laughing.  Well Done!!!!

Smiddywesson's picture

Fellow excrement throwing simians, please forgive me, I pasted in an article about how the prosecution of DSK is falling apart, and it led to a print of Internet craziness that nobody can discipher.  

My point was that the rush to lynch this guy was so overwhelming that I felt that the story was bogus, and now the "allegator" is starting to contradict herself like the person who claimed the Duke Lacross team raped her.  

Are we here to swallow the official truth or to discerne the real truth? I don't know anything about this case, but the allegations against DSK don't feel right to me.

i-dog's picture

"the allegations against DSK don't feel right to me"

Me, neither. I said it was a setup on Day 1 (and got junked for it).

Yen Cross's picture

 Were you expecting a Trophy? Junks are part of the land scape.  Just keep em minimal!