The floundering Japanese economy shows no sign of picking up, as newly released government figures pile on the gloom.

Industrial output tumbled 7.9% over the course of last year, the fastest fall since the oil crisis of 1975. The figure for December – despite being the first month-on-month rise since August – was 14.9% down compared with the same month a year before.

Unemployment, meanwhile, was up again last month to 5.6%, reaching a new post-war high for the fourth consecutive month.

Unsurprisingly, consumer confidence is anything but buoyant – spending contracted 0.8% in 2001 among salaried households, and for December fell 4.4% year-on-year.

News source: Financial Times