The good news is that the Japanese economy — the stock market especially — is recovering. The bad news is that the austerity hawks and conservative pundits (often the same) still want to see Abenomics — the economic policies put forward by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on taking office last year — as a mere flash in the pan. More sizzle than steak as one of the pundits put it earlier. Yet despite some hiccups that sizzle now looks like turning into a full-fledged conflagration. Abenomics seems to be winning out against bad economics.
Perhaps the biggest mistake of the bad economists was failure to realize how much the yen depreciation triggered by Abenomics can benefit an economy. They like to point out how any boost to exporters is canceled out by losses to import-dependent industries. But even in Economics 101 we learn that currency depreciation benefits not just exporters. A large swath of domestic industries also benefit — everything from pig farmers and parts makers competing with imports to universities and tourist hotels seeking foreign customers.