Japan’s Economy Tumbles Into Recession
The smart money totally missed it. The world’s third-largest economy unexpectedly shrank for a second quarter in a row, likely forcing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to delay the second stage of a controversial sales-tax boost that has already walloped consumer spending. Economists were stunned by the annualized 1.6 percent decline in GDP when forecasts had predicted over two percent growth. The shocker sent the benchmark Nikkei stock index down three percent and sets the stage for a confidence call on “Abenomics” via new elections, only halfway through the prime minister’s term.