Japan's Economy Likely To Grow Slowly

By John S. McClenahen The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for Japan was unchanged in November 2004, the latest month for which data are available. And revised data now show a small increase, rather than a decline, in the index for October. The leading index for Japan stands at 99 (1990=100). "The current behavior of the leading index suggests that the [Japanese] economy will continue to grow in the near term, probably more rapidly than in the third quarter [of 2004], but more slowly than the strong growth of late 2003 and early 2004," says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. Japanese GDP increased at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 0.3% during 2004's third quarter.

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