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The single most important development for Japanese consumers over the last year has been the introduction of Abenomics, the popularized term for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive economic initiatives introduced after his election in December 2012. With aggressive monetary easing and fiscal stimulus, the world’s third-largest economy has reemerged as a major influencer of the global recovery.
While the long-term sustainability of Abenomics is debated, the impact on Japan’s economy in 2013 was dramatic. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 57% in the calendar year and corporate profits increased dramatically due to the newly weakened yen.