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The economy has been recovering since April 2009 on the back of solid exports and the effects of stimulus steps after bottoming out the previous month, ending a recession that started in November 2007, the Cabinet Office said Monday.

A panel of economists and experts for the office determined that the latest recession’s 17-month stretch was about average for the past 13 economic cycles, which comes in at 16 months.

The failure in 2008 of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the resultant financial crisis accelerated the pace of the latest recession, further damaging already battered exports and production, the panel said.

Hiroshi Yoshikawa, an economics professor at the University of Tokyo and head of the panel, said after the panel met Monday that the key characteristic of the latest recession was the “extremely steep” pace of contraction.

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