Japan Finally Headed For Recovery?

By John S. McClenahen The world's second largest economy may soon begin a sustainable recovery from recession. Although GDP for the full year is likely to contract another 1.5%, Japan's economy should go positive in the fourth calendar quarter of 2002, believes Jesper Koll, a Tokyo-based analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. If Japanese GDP does in fact begin growing again then, it would be the first quarterly increase since the first quarter of 2001. But don't expect a boom. "Even if, as we suspect, this cycle can unfold, we still do not foresee Japanese growth to accelerate significantly past 1.5% in 2003," cautions Koll.

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