Downgrading Supports Long-Term Forecast For Japan

Brazil has an economic bailout package. The U.S. and Japan are promising to help Asia's recessed emerging economies come back. And Japan has . . . ? Well, since Nov. 16 Japan has had, on paper, a $US196 billion economic stimulus package. But the betting is that the Japanese government's latest attempt to turn recession (about a 2% contraction in the fiscal year ending next Mar. 31) into recovery probably will not succeed. Analysts have welcomed the Japanese package for what it is -- an effort to keep the economy in motion. But it's not likely to produce long-term growth, an expectation given additional credibility by Moody's Investor Services' downgrading of Japan's debt on Nov. 17 by one notch to Aa1.

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