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IMF examines risks that could lead to sharp cut in Japan’s growth

Kyodo

The International Monetary Fund has presented a worst-case combination of risks that could shave Japan’s real gross domestic product growth by as much as 4 percentage points.

The economy would contract if the country simultaneously faces sluggish wage growth, a firmer yen, stock price falls and plunges in Japanese government bond prices, the IMF said Tuesday in a section of its multilateral policy issues report.

But the country would only see a mild retreat of 0.4 point if nominal wage growth relative to a baseline scenario declines by 3 points in 2014 and 2015, unless consumer spending and investment are adversely affected, the IMF said.

GDP growth would be reduced by 2.9 points if the decline in nominal wage growth was combined with stock price falls and a rise in the yen, the IMF said.

Furthermore, if JGB prices plunge because of fiscal sustainability concerns, triggering bond yield surges of 2 points, it would not only cause a 4-point drop in GDP growth but could batter overseas economies, the IMF said.

“Although not considered here, negative spillovers could be magnified further through financial market contagion,” the IMF said.