Small business optimism continues to ease, down 1.3 points in September to a slightly lower-than-expected 101.8. No components rose in the month with six down and three unchanged. The report notes that uncertainty is up and respondents are more reluctant to make major spending commitments. Tariffs are cited by 30 percent of the sample as a negative for their business. Labor compensation continues to rise in contrast, however, to selling prices which are comparatively flat.

Global trade continuing to contract:

Japan’s current account surplus came in at JPY 2.16 trillion in August 2019, widening from last year’s JPY 1.82 trillion and above market expectations of JPY 2.07 trillion. The goods account switched to a JPY 0.05 trillion surplus from a JPY 0.26 trillion deficit, as imports fell to JPY 6.03 trillion from JPY 6.91 trillion, while exports fell to JPY 6.08 trillion from 6.65 trillion.

Deep in contraction: