Three years of so-called “Abenomics”, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bold stimulus programme, has failed to dislodge a deflationary mindset among businesses and consumers.
As the world’s third-largest economy falters again – with a stronger yen gnawing at overseas profits and domestic consumption sapping companies’ confidence to invest or sufficiently raise wages – firms that increased their prices in the hope of a sustained recovery are rethinking their strategy.
Many consumers, with little extra to go around, are opting for cheaper products – welcome news for the discount retailers who flourished during two decades of economic stagnation.
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