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The big picture view of an ever-changing global economy.

Macro chatter: Japan shops, Brazil spends

Around the world in business: Japanese retail sales are up, and Brazil's got a big stimulus plan and been hit by Moody's banking downgrades.
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Customers enter the new flagship store of Jaspanese casual fashion giant Uniqlo. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

Need to know:
Here’s one place in the world where consumers aren’t cutting back: Japan.

Retail sales in the world’s third-largest economy were stronger than expected in May. The need to rebuild after last year’s earthquake and a government program aimed at boosting car sales helped drive up the figure, Bloomberg said.

Retail sales in Japan are up about 3.6 percent from a year ago.

Want to know:

The tablet wars are about to get a little hotter.

Google announced it plans to release a tablet with a starting price of $199. The 7-inch android Nexus 7 has a 9-hour battery and weighs less than a pound.  

Dull but important: 

Brazil’s government has a $4.1 billion plan to stimulate its economy.

Brazil is planning to use the money to buy school buses, motorcycles, ambulances and backhoes in an effort to jumpstart growth in the country.

Brazil is hoping the world won’t lose confidence in its economy, but it doesn’t seem to be working for Moody’s.

Moody’s doesn’t seem to be buying it. The ratings agency has cut its ratings on 11 Brazilian banks.

Just because:
Rupert Murdoch could have a big break up on his hands.

Murdoch’s News Corp. plans to separate its entertainment and publishing units, the Wall Street Journal reported. The paper is owned by News Corp.

The move is worrisome to the publishing sector, which generates a fraction of the revenues of News Corp.’s entertainment businesses, a group that includes 20th Century Fox and Fox News Channel.

Strange but true: 

JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion loss could actually be a $9 billion loss, The New York Times said.

That's of course should a worst-case scenario unfold, but it's not enough to keep the bank from turning a profit this quarter, the paper said. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/macro-chatter-japan-shops-brazil-spends-0