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2020 look ahead: Japan's economy is in trouble

Trump, trade war and panicked stimulus all bode ill for Abe's government

| Japan

The best thing you can say about the Japanese economy's 2019 is that, mercifully, the year will soon be over.

Growth plodded along only modestly. Exports had fallen every month in 2019 at time of writing, while wages dropped in seven of the first 10 months. Far from an overwhelmingly expected tapering in 2019, where the Bank of Japan reduces purchases of bonds and other assets, monetary policy remained trapped in negative interest-rate purgatory.

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