Wednesday, November 07, 2012

日本通縮怕怕


禤中怡抽空往日本走一趟,可能當地通縮確實嚴重,物價未見上升,反見下調跡象,例如在成田市的超級市場內,半個日本椰菜售價僅68日圓,即約6.57港元,認真抵,比香港最少便宜逾一倍,差點被同行者說服抬一個回港。至於一罐大罐裝可樂,亦只需100日圓,即約9.6港元,看似比香港的價格高了一截,但當地自動販賣機的售價(120日圓)經已維持多時,料不到超市還要再壓低近兩成搶客。

以為自己看錯眼,怎知在市郊的AEON,即像香港的吉之島百貨內,見到一碗足料的拉麵才300日圓(約29港元),當然,質素並非像東京市中心的著名店舖般出眾,但相對每碗600至700日圓價格而言,確叫人吃驚,怎知付款時,更發覺服務員只收200日圓(約19.3港元),只聽著她說一堆說話,令人摸不著頭腦,但看她指著的海報便恍然大悟,原來是下午茶時段,再有優惠!

再走訪一些小鎮,如位於千葉縣的佐原市,除了觀光點有較多人流,部分店舖正翻新配合整個江戶時代的環境外,多條街道的店舖不是關門,便是倒閉,更有一整座物業丟空,場面頗恐怖。

日本經濟出口弱,且看中日交惡的影響有多大便知,而歐美又欠動力,短期難改善,即使外圍好景,日圓匯價高企,兌換為港元後,確令人肉赤,反映出口難度更高。那麼內需如何?見到當地火車站旁的藥房招聘兼職員工,時薪750日圓,約72元,與香港比較,似乎不俗,畢竟是大城市生活,但收入七除八扣後,能否應付日常開支便不得而知。

正當香港網上瘋傳人情太少免出席婚宴的事件後,其實日本也好不了多少,好像當地東京一項調查顯示,一對新人辦婚宴時,平均招待人數較97年下降15%,直至去年平均只招待70人,而有關數字自2000年以來更一直低位橫行,未知是無力邀請賓客,還是家族人口減少,無論如何,反映消費人口難大增,以促進消費。

正因人口結構的改變,日本人亦面對工種配對問題,如印尼人學習日文後,飄洋過海往當地打工,職責是照顧長者,相信薪酬對比在印尼高而吸引他們吧!而在留日期間,也認識兩位來自菲律賓的女士,在當地工作均逾20年,一個做旅館服務員,一個在機場免稅店賣酒,可見日本人也需輸入外勞。

Sony早前公布業績蝕入肉,有電視台播出訪問該巨企CEO平井一夫親自走入印度市中心的電器店,了解與對手三星打對台的情況,還以一口流利英文向印度的員工訓話,指該國是未來增長動力,勢要逆轉過來,可見日本市場難捱,要進軍新興市場,才可能見生機。

(11月7日刊於《am730》)

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