1. SLOWDOWN

    Japan Posts Rare Trade Deficit

    Containers are loaded and unloaded from a ship at Tokyo Bay on January 25, 2012. Japan announced its first annual trade deficit for more than 30 years after the March quake-tsunami and strong yen hit exports in 2011, and high fuel costs pushed up import bills.   AFP PHOTO/Toru YAMANAKA (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Toru Yamanaka, AFP / Getty Images

    Japan had its first annual trade deficit in more than 30 years in 2011, raising concerns that the nation’s economy could be losing its competitive edge. Part of the dip is due to the March earthquake and tsunami, which raised fuel-import costs while slowing global growth. Fuel prices skyrocketed as the country shut down its nuclear power plants. Only four of the country’s 54 nuclear power reactors are currently running. But analysts worry it may be part of a larger trend.

    Read it at Reuters