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Japan slowdown will be short lived, says World Bank

The slowdown in Japan’s economic growth expected as a result of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami is likely to be temporary, according to the World Bank.

In its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, the organisation admits that it is “far too early” to make an accurate assessment about the full impact of the disaster, but says it is clear Japan’s GDP growth will fall in the coming months.

However, the report predicts that activity will begin to pick up halfway through the year, as the country starts its reconstruction effort in earnest. The research points out that the country has demonstrated “acceleratedreconstruction” in the wake of past disasters.

In addition, the study claims the event’s impact on trade and finance will be the most pressing concern facing Japan in the immediate future but notes that these started to recover within a few quarters of the 1995 Kobe earthquake.

Vikram Nehru, the chief economist for the East Asia and Pacific region at the World Bank, comments: “At this stage, we expect the economic impact of this disaster on the East Asian region to be fairly short lived.”

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