Last night it was announced that the Japanese economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.8% from April to June of this year. This handily beats the previously reported number of 2.6%. The gain has been attributed to large corporate expenditures and comes alongside the swiftest acceleration in lending since 2009. These new data points will surely bolster the case for Abenomics but should also provide cover for the government to levy a much-debated consumption tax hike. Officials are looking to raise the tax from its current level of 5% to 8% next spring, then again to 10% in 2015.
“Companies are replacing old equipment, which led to the large upward revision to GDP,” said Hiroaki Muto, senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management. “This means the government can raise the sales tax as scheduled.”