News: German transportation company DB Schenker has begun operations at a new logistics facility in Japan. The Baraki Logistics Centre is the largest in use by the firm, extending over 33,000 square metres, Logistics Manager reports. By March 2014 the hub is likely to be 100% occupied, and will be used primarily by the electronics industry.
BMI View: Japan is enjoying a mini-recovery, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe encourages wage increases and business spending. The government has tweaked tax policies to encourage companies to hire staff and boost investment. GDP grew by an annualised, seasonally adjusted, rate of 4.1% in Q113, led by healthy private consumption. There are also signs that business confidence is looking up. Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wants to do well in Upper House elections due in July, and it knows that it needs to get the economy moving to bring in the votes. BM I believes that growth will pick up over the short term, and we have raised our 2013 GDP forecast to 1.4%, from 0.9%.