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Evaluating Abenomics, One Year On

posted 16 Dec 2013, 02:57 by Mpelembe   [ updated 16 Dec 2013, 02:58 ]


BVO - Abenomics' first birthday looks like a happy one.

Yes, it's been a year since the Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide election victory, paving the way for Shinzo Abe's second stint as prime minister.

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And 2013 has been all about his big spending policies, which have restored the economy to health and won him a lot of fans.

We asked experts to grade Abe's performance.

Markets have been Abenomics' biggest cheerleaders.

The Nikkei average has soared since Abe's election victory and the yen has weakened significantly: good news for exporters.

Jesper Koll, head of Japanese equity research at JP Morgan.


"They've done a very, very good job of being consistent, of being good at signaling and of actually delivering what they promised. And also at times, when they couldn't promise something, like labor market reform, they actually were out in the open and said: 'Look, this is not going to be happening, live with it.' So an 'A' for markets and managing investor expectations."

"I think on the monitory policy side, the coordination with the new Bank of Japan governor Kuroda is outstanding. Japan is really the best coordinated monetary fiscal regulatory policy regime in the world right now in my opinion. In terms of fiscal policy, I think it's good that they were pragmatic, that the VAT is going up next year and that they are buying some insurance with the fiscal measure there. "

Elsewhere, Abe's grades are a bit spottier.

He's managed to boost private consumption, but one economist told us his policies could also fuel inequality and tend to favor larger firms.

And then there's Abe's long-promised 'third arrow' - more painful steps like deregulation and labor market reform...


"...that are supposed to drive the next phase of economic revival. This is where one expert gives Abe an "F". So the pressure's still on as Abenomics enters its second year."