Despite recent issues such as currency deflation and dips in consumption that could've indicated trouble, the economic world was certainly surprised in this year's first quarter when Japan saw its economy recede after two years of growth. The next three months, however, saw enough progress to break even from the contraction and then some.
According to The Japan Times, citing data from the country's Cabinet Office, 2018's second quarter saw a 1.9 percent uptick in annualized economic growth. This beat experts' median prediction of a 1.4 percent increase. When measured solely on a quarterly basis, growth wasn't as high - 0.5 percent - but certainly welcome after Q1's shocking contraction.
Mizuho Research Institute Senior Economist Yusuke Ichikawa said that the Japanese economy might not be fully out of the woods yet, however, in a Japan Times interview, in part because of global uncertainty caused by various trade disputes.
"If the trade conflict heightens uncertainty over the outlook, companies could rein in spending, even if Washington does not impose further tariffs on Japanese goods," Ichikawa explained.
According to Channel News Asia, the possibility of auto tariffs represent Japanese business leaders' biggest worry. Such taxes might engender up to $10 billion in losses for Japan's numerous automakers, while also possibly resulting in lost political capital for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who hopes to be re-elected in September.