• Japan Aug jobless rate edges up to 3.4%

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    TOKYO: Japan’s jobless rate edged up to 3.4 percent in August, up slightly from the previous month and higher than analysts’ expectations, official data showed on Friday.

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    That was higher than July’s 3.3 percent rate. Analysts had predicted the August rate would remain unchanged from the previous month.

    A separate survey showed that there were 123 job offers for every 100 job hunters in August, or a ratio of 1.23, the highest such figure in 23 years.

    The closely watched labor index, which was at 1.21 the previous month, showed that Japan’s labor market remained tight despite the slight gain in the jobless rate.

    The internal affairs ministry also said household spending rose 2.9 percent year-on-year in August following a 0.2-percent decline in July.

    On Thursday, central bank data showed that a slowdown in China and weakness at home dented Japanese firms’ confidence last quarter, suggesting the world’s third-largest economy has slipped into recession.

    The disappointing Tankan survey supplied the latest evidence that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth blitz, dubbed Abenomics, was faltering, as speculation grows that the Bank of Japan would have to expand its massive asset-buying plan later this year.

    AFP

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