Japan Economy Likely to Be Tested after Longest Growth

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's economy is expected by many economists to face tests this year, after its ongoing expansion becomes the longest in postwar history later this month.

The expansionary period started in December 2012 and is set to reach six years and two months when January ends, exceeding the "Izanami" boom, currently the longest postwar economic expansion, which lasted six years and one month from February 2002 to February 2008.

The government sees the economy continuing to recover steadily in fiscal 2019, which begins in April, thanks chiefly to higher domestic demand.

But risks include global economic stagnation arising from factors such as U.S.-China trade friction. In addition, plunging stock markets around the world are casting a shadow over the course of the Japanese economy.

In October this year, Japan's consumption tax rate is due to be raised to 10 pct from the current 8 pct. Many private-sector economists expect that generous government assistance measures aimed at easing the tax increase's negative impact on demand will successfully support personal consumption, which accounts for over half of the country's gross domestic product.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press