Land of the rising indicators ?
Is Japan really getting back on track ? (walled for non-subscribers) The Economist thinks that it is ....
"Japan's GDP grew at a surprisingly strong annualised rate of 5.5% in the fourth quarter of 2005. It looks like the economy may finally be leaving ten years of stagnation behind. But can its export-led growth last long enough to put domestic demand back on track?"
"Overall, though, the economic signs are better than they have been in years. GDP growth is robust, inflation quiescent, wages rising. It is perhaps too soon for Mr Crichton to say he told us so and break out the bubbly—but it might be time for a glass of moderately priced sake."
Also The Financial Times seems to believe that the Japanese economy is bouncing back (walled for non-subsribers) as articulated in this weekend's edition by David Turner.
"Unexpectedly strong growth in the last quarter propelled Japan's economy once again into being a world leader, promising an end to 15 years in the doldrums when periodic economic revivals dissolved into false dawns."
As I wrote about Japan's condition a while back I was a bit more pessimistic and also Edward Hugh is surprised about this sudden belief in Japan's recovery; as he writes in his blog Bonobo Land "Japan's economy once again a world leader? IMHO this is terribly premature and extraordinarily ill-advised."
Now, I know that demographics are not the source and explanation of all issues in this world, but in Japan's case I think that the composition of the population is crucial not least to at least differentiate the current surge of optimism; perhaps it is still too premature to break out that sake?