Financial crisis in Japan is not a given

While it is still too early for a full assessment, Japan’s past experience suggests an accelerated reconstruction effort, and the short term impact on the economies of developing East Asia is likely to be limited.

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Japan’s real GDP growth will slow, but the slowdown will likely be temporary, as a result of the earthquake and tsunami and growth should start picking up after mid-2011 as reconstruction efforts get underway, says the World Bank in its latest released report. While it is still too early for a full assessment, Japan’s past experience suggests an accelerated reconstruction effort, and the short term impact on the economies of developing East Asia is likely to be limited.

The report, titled “Securing the Present, Shaping the Future,” was finalized in the weeks prior to the disaster in Japan. In new research prepared since the quake and tsunami struck Japan, the World Bank provides preliminary analysis on the implications for the region with a focus on trade and finance. However, the analysis points to uncertainties and ongoing challenges posed by the unfolding situation involving nuclear reactors in Japan.

“Clearly given Japan’s importance in East Asia, the tragic events unfolding will be felt in the region. But it’s far too early to give an accurate assessment of the likely damages,” said Vikram Nehru, World Bank Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region. “At this stage, we expect the economic impact of this disaster on the East Asian region to be fairly short-lived. In the immediate future the biggest impact will be in terms of trade and finance. We expect growth in Japan will pick up as reconstruction efforts accelerate.”

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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