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Japan Needs to Do More to Cement Its Economic Successes: IMF
Source: http://www.japantoday.com/
Source Date: Saturday, November 02, 2013
Country: Japan
Created: Nov 05, 2013

Japan’s economy is growing again and there are some signs that deflation is coming to an end but the country needs to take further action to consolidate this success, a senior International Monetary Fund official says.

“The years of actions that they’ve taken are having an impact. Their growth has revived ... (and) they had their first positive inflation reading recently,” David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, said at an event hosted by the American Academy in Berlin this week.

Japan’s economy expanded for a third straight quarter in April-June as government stimulus policies boosted business sentiment and household spending.

Core consumer prices, which include oil products but not volatile prices of fresh food, rose in the year to September - the fourth straight month of a positive headline inflation rate.

“We know, however, that there is more for them to do to cement success,” Lipton said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to revive the country with a radical economic policy - known as “Abenomics” - comprising the “Three Arrows” of drastic monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and a growth strategy that includes structural reforms such as deregulation.

“Japan also needs a well-specified medium-term plan for how it’s going to address fiscal challenges ... and they need wide-ranging structural reforms in order to get the economy growing,” Lipton said.

He said these reforms included deregulating product and service markets and implementing steps to get more women into the workforce as demographic patterns mean the working population is expected to shrink.

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