9:20am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Good News, Bad News: Japanese Economy Surges, But Likely Will Slow

In a classic example of "on the one hand, on the other hand" economic analysis, the word that Japan's economy grew at a strong 4.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter is being followed by cautionary talk of slower growth for the world's third-largest economy in coming quarters.

"Japan's economic growth probably peaked in the first quarter and analysts forecast the pace of expansion will halve by year-end as the boost from earthquake reconstruction fades," Bloomberg News says.

"Prospects remained uncertain for the current quarter because of fears about the European economy and other factors that could crimp expansion," Bloomberg BusinessWeek adds.

Reuters writes that "the figures underlined expectations that growth would slow down during the rest of the year, partly as the impact of the rebuilding effort fades."

Japan's northeast coast was shaken by a massive earthquake, and then pummeled by a tsunami, on March 11, 2011.

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