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Real Time Insight

Japan’s new Prime Minister has asked the Bank of Japan to introduce “unlimited” easing in order to weaken the currency, make exports competitive and pull Japan out of its deflationary spiral.

During its recent meeting, BOJ doubled the inflation target to 2% but decided to start “open-ended” asset purchases next year.

In a recent survey conducted by WSJ, most economists opined that Shinzo Abe’s election will be good for the Japanese economy.

Yesterday while lowering the growth estimates for the Euro-zone and some other countries, IMF left the forecast for Japan unchanged at 1.2% for this year, while cutting the 2014 prediction to 0.7%.

IMF chief economist Blanchard said “Fiscal expansion is going to help growth in the short run, …at the same time when you start with such a level of debt and without a medium term credible fiscal consolidation plan, increasing the fiscal deficit in the short run is a very risky thing to do.”

Looking at the ETFs tracking Japan, it appears that the market believes that the policy measures may be successful. While the ETF tracking the broader equity market iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ) is almost unchanged in the last one month, MSCI Japan Index Fund Fundamentals (DXJ - ETF report) which provides exposure to Japanese stocks without any exposure to the currency is up 3.8% during the same period.

Do you think that Japan can finally turn around after a “lost” decade or rather decades?

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