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Japan's CPI Falls for Eleventh Consecutive Month

Japan's consumer price index excluding perishables dropped 1.3 % in January 2010 compared with the same month of last year, marking the eleventh consecutive month of year-on-year decline, according to a report by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications issued on February, 26 2010.               
The CPI stood at 99.2 against the base of 100 for 2005, the lowest level in about 17 years since it registered 99.0 in March 1993. The figure indicates a continuing deflationary trend due to price competition.
The CPI excluding food and energy dropped 1.2 % from a year ago to 97.5, marking a year-on-year decline for 13 months in a row.
Meanwhile, the industrial production index in January rose 2.5 % over the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 91.9, against the base of 100 for 2005, according to a preliminary report of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also issued on February 26. It was the eleventh consecutive month-on-month increase.

Japan's Jobless Rate Falls to 4.9% in January

Japan's unemployment rate fell by a 0.3%point(seasonally adjusted) from December, 2009 to 4.9% in January 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported on February 2, 2010.
The January's ratio of job offers to job seekers was at 0.46 (seasonally adjusted), up from 0.43 in December, 2009, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said separately on the same day.

JAL May Cut Employee Pay by 5%

Japan Airlines is planning to cut the wages of its employees by 5 % and postpone annual bonuses as part of a wage revision plan for FY2010, JAL sources said on February 19.
The cash-strapped carrier is currently undergoing rehabilitation under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law. The proposals have been submitted to eight labor unions of the company, and if agreement is reached, the measures will be implemented beginning in April 2010, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The Japan Airlines International Co., JAL's core subsidiary, and its group firms would be subjected to the wage revision, which is expected to slash about 30 billion yen off annual labor costs, according to the sources.
Meanwhile, JAL is also reviewing the wage system for pilots. The company is considering a proposal to reduce the minimum guaranteed hours of flight pay—whereby a pilot is guaranteed a minimum wage of 65 hours of flying time per month regardless of actual hours flown—to 50 hours. The revision of wages is expected to be a key pillar of the reconstruction measures to be included in the rehabilitation plan that will be drawn up by late June 2010.

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