Japan predicts return to growth

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The Independent Online
JAPAN'S ECONOMY will begin to expand again in the year to March 2000 after two full years of recession, the Japanese government predicted yesterday, suggesting that recent dramatic tax cuts designed to boost consumer spending and reduce unemployment will pay off.

The forecast, which shows Japan recording gross domestic product growth of 0.5 per cent in the year to March 2000 after a 2.2 per cent contraction this year, was approved by an emergency cabinet meeting. Keizo Obuchi, the Prime Minister, said he would do everything in his power to make sure that Japan returned to growth. Government calculations assumed an exchange rate of 119 yen to the dollar, down from 128.8 for this year.