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Japan Approves New Stimulus Ahead Of Elections

Japan Approves New Stimulus Ahead Of Elections
11/30/2012 12:20 AM ET

The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Friday approved a second round of economic stimulus in an attempt to jump start the economy ahead of the elections in December.

The new package, worth JPY 880 billion ($10.7 billion), is funded from the country's budget reserves, avoiding further debt sales. The package is more than double the size of the stimulus measures announced in October.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday that industrial production in Japan increased 1.8 percent on month in October, rising for the first time in four months. Nonetheless, the ministry maintained its assessment that "industrial production is on a downward trend."

The economy contracted at an annualized 3.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the sharpest pace since the 2011 earthquake.

The government, this month, cut its assessment of the economy for a fourth month in a row, the longest stretch of downgrades since the global financial crisis.

The Bank of Japan, on its part, expanded stimulus by lifting the size of its asset purchase program to about JPY 91 trillion from JPY 80 trillion in October.

by RTT Staff Writer

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