The stock market turbulence in the year’s first week of trading seemed to cast a pall over the prospects of the economy, the recovery of which remains shaky after three years under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s trademark policies. The government forecasts that GDP growth in the fiscal year beginning in April will reach 1.7 percent in real terms — up sharply from around 1 percent estimated for fiscal 2015 and more optimistic than what many private-sector economists predict. The Abe administration should be on guard against the various downside risks to the economy and be ready to take appropriate steps.

The economic landscape remains a mixed picture. Japan narrowly escaped a second recession under the current Abe administration when the revised July-September GDP data marked annualized 1.0 percent growth from the previous quarter. But the pickup in consumer spending and capital investments by businesses remains sluggish, and exports are dampened by decelerating growth in emerging economic led by China.

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