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Figures Suggest Japan’S Recovery Is Gaining Strength

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The Japanese economy grew at a healthy clip of 1.2 percent in the first quarter, the government said on Thursday, hinting that Japan’s recovery from a crippling recession was finally gathering momentum.

Japan’s real gross domestic product rose 1.2 percent in the January-March period from the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis. That is an annualized growth rate of 4.9 percent, according to preliminary figures released by the Cabinet Office. It was the Japanese economy’s fourth quarterly gain in a row; it expanded 1 percent in the last three months of 2009.

The latest numbers exceeded an annualized 3.2 percent growth rate in the United States economy in the first quarter, though it missed a median forecast of 5.5 percent by 21 economists polled by Bloomberg News.

Private consumption, which makes up about 60 percent of the economy, grew 0.3 percent in the quarter, while exports rose 6.9 percent. Economic recovery in Japan has been bolstered by a rebound in Tokyo’s mainstay exports of cars and electronics, which posted the fourth year-on-year rise in March. The rebound finally appears to be filtering through to domestic production and wages.

Japan will “continue to experience an upward momentum for the time being,” Hirokata Kusaba, senior economist at the Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo, said in a note Thursday after the economic growth data was released.

However, idle capital stock and still-sluggish employment meant that “should overseas demand run out of steam, we cannot necessarily be optimistic that private demand will support a self-sustaining recovery,” Mr. Kusaba said.

Japan’s recovery had been marred by fits and starts following an annualized 13.7 percent fall in G.D.P. in the first quarter of 2009, the country’s deepest contraction since World War II.

The economy expanded 1.8 percent the following quarter, but growth slowed to a mere 0.1 percent in the July-September period last year, triggering concerns among domestic policymakers of a double-dip recession.

The International Monetary Fund estimated that Japan’s economy shrank 5.2 percent in 2009, far below contractions of 2.4 percent in the United States and 4.1 percent in the euro zone that year.

Fears of another recession have eased in Japan, however, as exports, production and wages stage a recovery.

This global recovery appears locked in, I mean what can possible go wrong?

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Zerohedge looked at the situation from the other end of the bottle?

Japanese GDP Deflator Plunges To Multi-Year Low As GDP Comes Below Expectations.

Japan just announced its annualized Q1 GDP, which came in at 4.9%, well below the survey consensus of 5.5%. Yet while the country's subpar economic performance was not too surprising, the deflator came in at a massive -3%, indicating that in the second decade after the country first set off to prove that Keynesianism works when public debt is somewhere north of 100% it still have to find success. Our only concern is that Bernanke is all too aware of this data as well, and he will not stop at anything to reflate, even if that means a $5, $15 or $500 trillion Fed balance sheet.

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  • 439 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
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