Japan's Economy: Monthly Review
Growing Downside Risk(Jan 2016)

Gradual recovery seen, but caution required regarding five risks

January 22, 2016

  • Mitsumaru Kumagai
  • Satoshi Osanai
  • Keisuke Okamoto
  • Shunsuke Kobayashi
  • Shotaro Kugo
  • Hiroyuki Nagai

Summary

Growing downside risk: World financial markets have continued to experience turmoil in the early weeks of 2016. According to our main scenario, we expect Japan’s economy to move toward a gradual recovery during the year 2016 due to the following factors: (1) Continuation of the virtuous circle brought on by Abenomics, and (2) A gradual comeback in exports centering on the US. However, a note of caution is also required, as the effects of turmoil in world financial markets brings risk of an economic downturn.

Risk factors facing Japan’s economy: (1) The downward swing of China’s economy, (2) Tumult in the economies of emerging nations in response to the US exit strategy, (3) A worldwide decline in stock values due to geopolitical risk, (4) The worsening of the Eurozone economy, and (5) The Triple Weaknesses – a weak bond market, weak yen, and weak stock market due to loss of fiscal discipline. Our outlook for China’s economy is optimistic in the short-term and pessimistic in the mid to long-term. Looking at China’s economic situation in a somewhat reductive way, the fact is that China’s government holds treasury funds totaling between 600 to 800 tril yen with which it is standing up to over 1 quadrillion yen in excessive lending and over 400 tril yen in excess capital stock. China is expected to be able to avoid the bottom falling out of its economy for a little while, but in the mid to long-term, there is risk of a massive capital stock adjustment.

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