TOKYO – The impact of Abenomics on Japan’s economy is gradually beginning to be felt. Annual GDP growth in the first quarter has been revised upward, to 4.1%, exceeding market expectations and providing a strong indication that the Japanese economy is finally recovering, after two decades of stagnation. Consumer spending is particularly robust, as wages show signs of upward movement.
Moreover, the currency depreciation in the wake of the Bank of Japan’s efforts to increase the annual inflation rate to 2% is expected to benefit exporters, though a substantial effect on the trade balance is yet to be seen, probably owing to higher import costs. In particular, thermal electricity plants have replaced the country’s nuclear plants – offline since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 – and the weak yen has hit the import bill for oil and gas hard.