Bank of Japan Monetary Easing
The Bank of Japan believes it can cure what ails much of the nation’s economy. If the relative success of the U.S. Federal Reserve to accomplish a similar goal is any indication, the Bank of Japan activity may work. According to the Washington Post:
The goal is to shake the world’s third-largest economy from two of its most unrelenting problems, chronic deflation and a strong currency, which hurts Japan’s exporters by making their products more expensive overseas. But the strategy represents a particular gamble for a nation already with the highest debt burden in the developed world, at 220 percent of the gross domestic product.
If Japan’s public works spending does stimulate the economy, and if the central bank’s monetary easing further weakens the yen, Japan could break from its prolonged slump. Investor confidence would rise, the GDP would grow, and the government would take in more tax revenue to cover its debts.
German Economic Sentiment
Another of the world’s largest economies continues to heal, if confidence is any indication. Germany mostly has dodged the European Union recession, although its gross domestic product has suffered. While there is no sign that Europe will escape a contraction in 2013, Germans seem to believe that their nation can. ZEW reports:
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany has increased by 24.6 points in January 2013. The indicator now stands at a level of 31.5 points, thereby reaching its highest level since May 2010.
The indicator’s further increase shows that according to the financial market experts the economic perspectives for Germany have brightened up on a six months’ time horizon. It might have contributed to experts’ optimism that the markets’ uncertainty concerning the future of the Eurozone has diminished for the time being.
“The financial market experts seem to expect that the positive sentiment on the financial markets may soon result in companies realizing investments that had been postponed earlier on. However, the economic situation of important trade partners is rightly considered to still be weak. This suggests that the German economy will further grow at a moderate level in 2013″, says ZEW President Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Wolfgang Franz.
The assessment of the current economic situation for Germany has remained almost unchanged in January. The respective indicator has increased by 1.4 points and now stands at the 7.1 points-mark.
Three New iPhones for 2013?
Industry trade publication Brightwire now puts the number of iPhones that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will launch this year at three. Their successes are absolutely critical. Apple likely will report its first down quarter since 2003, and its share price continues to erode. Brightwire reports:
- Apple will announce three new iPhone models in 2013, and two of them, the 4-inch iPhone 5S and 4.8-inch iPhone Math (both featuring 8-mega-pixel cameras), will hit markets before the end of June, China Times reported citing Taiwan-based Commercial Times.
- Citing Apple’s suppliers, the report added that the third model, which has not been exposed, will be launched before Christmas. The model will feature a 12-mega-pixel camera.
- The shipments for components, including touchscreens and cameras, will start rising significantly in March, and iPhone manufacturers will begin production in late April. Hence, Apple’s suppliers will see major growth in 2Q 2013.
- Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. will undertake 90% of the manufacturing orders, and Largan has received orders for 8 million camera lenses. Fujikura, Flexium and Zhen Ding will share production orders for printed circuit boards.
- Foxconn Technology and Coxon will provide molding parts for Apple’s new models; Foxlink will continue to offer connectors; Hon Hai Precision’s Microelectronics Technology will start designing 4G network solutions for Apple.
Douglas A. McIntyre