At last a glimmer of good news!

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Japan’s Q1 GDP has come in ahead of expectations at 1%, compared with 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011. The growth was partly driven by infrastructure spending relating to the reconstruction efforts in the Tsunami area and consumer incentives to buy fuel efficient cars.

In contrast, the Bank of England downgraded UK growth from 1% to 0.8% in 2012.  If the eurozone crisis goes on, this can only get worse. The recent strengthening of the pound is bad news for exporters in general as the price of British goods rises and of course Europe is our biggest export market. Also as the euro weakens, it becomes more expensive for Europeans who come to Britain to shop, buy property etc.

Ah well, at least a few beers on holiday to drown our sorrows this year will be more palatable from a costs perspective – might even be able to afford a glass of wine in Switzerland too!

Contrarian Investor uk

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