Looking Ahead in Asia

A string of data from Japan this week will likely provide further confirmation that the country is emerging from a tax-induced recession, albeit at a slow pace.

Earlier this month, revised gross domestic product (GDP) showed the world’s third-largest economy expanded an annualized 1.5 percent in the October-December period, marking a recovery from a technical recession in the preceding quarter. But, the revised figures were below an initial reading of 2.2 percent released in February.

Japan’s economy has been on the back foot, shrinking an annualized 7.1 percent in the second quarter of 2014 followed 1.9 percent in in the third, hit by a nation-wide consumption tax. The rise to 8 percent from 5 percent took effect last April and discouraged consumers from spending, forcing the government to postpone a second sales tax hike initially scheduled for this October.


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