Category: consumption

Japan’s Business Mood Worsens as Costs Cloud Outlook

TOKYO—Japanese manufacturers’ business mood worsened in the three months to September and corporate inflation expectations hit a record high, a central bank survey showed, as stubbornly high material costs clouded the outlook for the fragile economy. Corporate capital expenditure plans for the current fiscal year stayed strong, the Bank of Japan’s “tankan” survey showed, thanks…


Can China Transition to a Consumption Economy?

Commentary The great economist Michael Pettis at Tsinghua University has noted for years the importance for the Chinese economy to shift its growth dependency away from investment and toward greater consumption. As China faces its weakest sustained economic period in modern history, it bears worth asking, can China shift toward a more consumer-focused economy? The…


Japan’s Q1 GDP Falls Less Than First Thought on Stronger Consumption

TOKYO—Japan’s economy shrank slightly less than initially reported in the first quarter, as private consumption remained resilient in the face of resurgent COVID-19 infections and companies rebuilt their stock, offsetting a drop in business spending. While the slower contraction is welcome news for policymakers hoping the economy will return to growth this quarter, persistent supply…


China’s Consumers Keep Their Wallets in Lockdown as COVID-19 Curbs Ease

BEIJING—China’s economy has a lot riding on its consumers, who are just now emerging from lockdowns in Shanghai and other big cities. But those hopes are running up against the likes of Wu Lei, a soccer coach in Beijing who has put off buying a new mobile phone. “I’ve lost the lion’s share of my…


China Q1 Consumption Lags in Key Coastal Provinces; Q2 Off to Weak Start

BEIJING—China’s first-quarter retail sales lagged in key coastal economic regions with areas hit by COVID-19 outbreaks showing particular weakness, according to regional data, pointing to further sluggishness in consumption in the second quarter. China’s two biggest provincial economies—Guangdong province in the south and Jiangsu province near Shanghai—posted retail sales growth of 1.7 percent and 0.5…


You Need Less Than You Think

Recently I’ve been thinking about the happiest periods of my life, and what I might be able to do to replicate some of those experiences in my life today. So far, the three best years of my life have been: my freshman year of college the year I studied abroad my first year of marriage…


Six Boundaries to S.T.E.A.D.Y. Your Steps on the Path to Minimalism

The word “boundary” has received an undeserved bum rap because we live in a civilization that screams “accumulate more,” and “if it feels good—do it, buy it, and allow it access into your life.” Who wants to be told there are limits? Despite what the world around us tries to coerce us to buy into…


Why It Pays to Reject Consumerism

The message of consumerism is fatally flawed, and it can’t deliver the happiness it promises. But you probably don’t consider yourself a consumer— few people do. I never really did. But here in America, the message of consumerism is in the air we breathe. If you have it, spend it. Why not? If there’s a problem,…


Data Isn’t Important, but How You Consume It Is

By Robert Finlay For more than two decades, corporate executives and business owners have been obsessed over capturing as much data as possible, from clients, employees, suppliers, developers, and other relevant sources. Due to the relatively modest volume of data created at the time, whoever held the most data had the greatest competitive advantage. But…


BOJ Kuroda Vows to Keep Easy Policy on Weak Consumption, Inflation

TOKYO—Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Thursday stressed the bank’s readiness to maintain massive stimulus, as the fallout from the pandemic weighs on consumption and keeps inflation distant from its 2 percent target. Kuroda said the world’s third-largest economy is expected to show clearer signs of recovery as robust corporate profits and capital expenditure…