In Brief

Japan posts best growth streak in 15 years

Has the long-stagnant economy finally turned a corner?

Japan has posted its longest growth streak in more than 15 years, indicating the country’s long-stagnant economy could finally be turning a corner.

 Data showed GDP grew at an annualised rate of 1.4% between July and September, the seventh consecutive quarter the economy has expanded, and its best run since 2001.

The solid figures appear to be a vindication of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies after more than four years of economic stimulus.

His grand plan to kick-start the world’s third largest economy, known as Abenomics, “has been focused on tackling nearly two decades of stagnant growth and falling consumer prices”, says the BBC. Despite doubts about its effectiveness among many economists, the policy of quantative easing appears to be working.

The improving economy was a major factor in Abe’s landslide election victory last month, but “Japan is not out of the woods yet”, says David Kuo of Motley Fool Singapore.

Exports, increased corporate investment and stronger global demand for Japanese products have helped to offset a dip in consumer spending at home, but “while the revival in exports thanks to recovering demand in China, the US and other major markets has breathed fresh life into the economy, Japan’s long-term outlook remains uncertain”, says Statesman.

“Ending deflation remains the ultimate goal of Abenomics,” says The New York Times, and even though inflation remains at 0.7%, less than half the 2% target set by the Bank of Japan, “some analysts say they think the government may soon declare an official end to the two-decade deflationary scourge”.

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