The Week in Numbers: Japan’s GDP Grows 4%
The big news of the week was Japan’s impressive 4% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second quarter of the year. This was the biggest increase since the first quarter of 2015. The growth also makes Japan the fastest-growing economy among the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies.
Private consumption gained 0.9% on a quarterly basis, while business spending expanded 2.4%.
The total size of the economy grew to 545 trillion yen (S$6.8 trillion).
Meanwhile, China’s economy is starting to show signs of decelerating growth.
Factory output for July expanded 6.4% on a yearly basis, which was the slowest pace of growth since January, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Retail sales for July grew 10.4%, slightly slower than June’s growth of 11%. Fixed asset investments rose 8.3% on a year on year basis in the first seven months of the year.
Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has surged to new highs this week hitting US$4,000 for the first time. Bitcoin has a limited supply capped at 21 million, and 16.5 million in circulation at the moment. This limited supply, together with increasing demand to ride the euphoria of the cryptocurrency, has seen Bitcoin’s price increase 271.8% since the start of the year.
Back in Singapore, The Straits Times reported that the gender pay gap has remained stagnant for the last ten years, with men earning 18% higher than women. The male median monthly income was S$3991, while the median for females stood at S$3382.
And finally, Malaysia’s economy expanded 5.8% in the second quarter of the year compared to a year ago. Exports grew 10% on a yearly basis for the month of June. Current account surplus increased to RM9.6 billion over the second quarter from RM5.3 billion in the first quarter.