What Went Right in Japan
Japan is in a strong recovery. Real GDP growth will exceed 4 percent in 2004 and likely be 3 percent or higher in 2005 and perhaps even 2006. The economy also grew solidly between 2003Q1 and 2004Q2 at an average real annualized rate of 3.2 percent. The pace is sustainable, given Japan's underlying potential growth rate, which has risen to 2 to 2.5 percent per year, and the combination of catch-up growth closing the current output gap and reforms that will raise the growth rate for quarters to come (though not permanently).
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