Japan Not in Recession

February 4, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. constriction / kənˈstrɪk ʃən / (n.) – the act of shrinking or decreasing in size
Example: The constriction of the economy forced companies to let many employees go.

2. inventory / ˈɪn vənˌtɔr i / (n.) – all on-hand supplies in a shop or company
Example: The shop had low inventory by the end of the year.

3. falter / ˈfɔl tər / (v.) – to perform or do poorly
Example: Her performance for this quarter faltered.

4. status quo / ˈstæt əs kwoʊ / (n.) – the present state or condition
Example: It is a risk to change the status quo.

5. invigorate / ɪnˈvɪg əˌreɪt / (v.) – to fill with energy
Example: The higher pay invigorated the employees.


Read the text below.
Recent data shows that Japan is not in recession, contrary to predictions.

Japan's Cabinet Office announced that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by an annual 1% in the third quarter of 2015, instead of decreasing by 0.8% as previously anticipated. In terms of quarters, the economy grew 0.3% from the second quarter of 2015 instead of the estimated 0.2% decline.

The increase from the previous quarter's decline of 0.5% indicates that the third largest economy in the world is not in a recession, which is defined as two successive quarters of economic constriction. Another indicator is the actual increase in inventories to 1.5 trillion yen, compared to an estimated decrease of 1.9 trillion yen.

Before the release of the updated figures, economists were confident that the Bank of Japan would create initiatives to aid the faltering economy. The updated figures suggest that the central bank would maintain the status quo in terms of their initiatives. It may also invigorate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's campaign to improve the economy, better known as "Abenomics."

However, in spite of the signs that the economy may be improving, neither local nor foreign companies are heeding the Prime Minister's calls to aid the recovery. Local companies put their money in overseas investments instead of factory upgrades and wage increases at home, while the latter's direct investment in Japan amounted to only 4 billion yen, less than 0.001% of the country's GDP

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, which is more important for a country’s economy—local companies or foreign companies? Why?
·         Why do you think an economy goes into recession?

Discussion B

·         What are some of the worst effects of an economic recession?
·         What can people do to protect themselves from the effects of a recession?

February 4, 2016