Dat blijkt woensdag uit de resultaten van de Conjunctuurenquête Nederland (COEN), een gezamenlijk conjunctuuronderzoek van de Kamers van Koophandel, VNO-NCW, MKB Nederland, Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek en Economisch Instituut voor de Bouw.
In het eerste kwartaal van 2013 staan alle indicatoren diep in het rood. De verwachting voor de omzet belandt op het laagste niveau van de laatste 3 jaren, terwijl ook een forse afname van de werkgelegenheid wordt voorzien. Daarnaast zijn de verwachtingen van ondernemers voor de EXPORT somber.
De Japanse economie leunt meer op import dan ooit tevoren, zo blijkt uit de laatste cijfers van de handelsbalans. Het tekort was in januari met ¥1.629 miljard groter dan ooit tevoren. Dat is zorgwekkend, omdat de goedkope munt juist de EXPORT moet stimuleren.
While the rest of the developed (read trade deficit) world's foray into the currency wars was completely predictable and expected, there was one country that had so far kept very silent on the topic of Japan's attempts to crush its currency: its main EXPORT competitor, South Korea. Recall that for this Asian nation EXPORTs are everything, and as Yonhap reminds us, "EXPORTs of goods and services amounted to 538.5 trillion won (US$506 billion) in the January-September period, or 57.3 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), according to the data by the Bank of Korea. The reading was higher than 56.2 percent tallied for all of 2011 and the highest since the central bank began compiling related data in 1970, and South Korea's EXPORTs accounted for 13.2 percent of its GDP." The reason for South Korea's relative silence is that, as we showed yesterday, in the global race to debase launched with the end of the Bretton Woods, it was the undisputed leader, outdoing even the US.
Moments ago South Korea may have just had enough and broke the seal on its code of silence. As Reuters reports, "South Korea said that while the Group of 20 nations at their meeting last weekend did not single out Japan for monetary and fiscal measures that have weakened the yen, the group did not exactly endorse Japan's quantitative easing policy, which in fact stirred controversy."
De Japanse overheid heeft de waarde van haar munt sterk verlaagd, met als doel de EXPORT te stimuleren en de aandelenkoers omhoog te stuwen. Ook George Soros pikte een graantje mee met zijn hedgefonds, hij verdiende $1 miljard in een paar maanden tijd.
While the G-20 and the G-7 haggle among each other, all (with perhaps the exception of France) desperate to make it seem that Japan's recent currency manipulation is not really manipulation, and that the plunge in the Yen was an indirect, "unexpected" consequence of BOJ monetary policy (when in reality as Richard Koo explained it is merely a ploy to avoid the spotlight falling on each and every other G-7/20 member, all of which are engaged in the same type of currency wars which eventually will all morph into trade wars), Europe's energy powerhouse Norway quietly entered into the war. From Bloomberg: "Norges Bank is ready to cut interest rates further to counter krone gains that interfere with the inflation target, Governor Oeystein Olsen said. “If it gets too strong over time, leading to inflation that’s too low, we will act,” Olsen said yesterday in an interview at his office in Oslo.
The problem for Norway is that on one hand it, too, seeks to boost its EXPORT-business in an imitation of the beggar-thy-neighbor policies adopted by every other government, or artificial monetary union, with a printing press, while on the other, its property market which is overheating due to Norway's perceived status as one of Europe's safest money parking locations (alongside Switzerland) will merely heat up even more should the Norges Bank cut rates as it appears set to do, in order to preserve its front in the global currency war.