Business, Economics and Jobs

Japan approves $10.7 billion stimulus package


A businessman passes before a share prices board in Tokyo on July 12, 2012.



Japan approved 880.3 billion yen ($10.7 billion) in stimulus, mainly for social programs, employment creation and support for small and medium-size businesses.

The package is expected to tack 0.2 percent onto Japan's economic growth rate and help create around 80,000 jobs, but some say it isn't enough, according to the Associated Press. The country's economy shrank in the third quarter, leading many economists to expect a further drop in the current quarter. Another contraction would put Japan in its fifth recession in 15 years.

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The plan is roughly twice the size of a package announced in late last month, which was also drawn mostly from reserves and aimed at reconstruction efforts after the March 2011 earthquake that hit the Asian country, reported CNN. The main contributor to a 0.9 percent contraction in gross domestic product between July and September were falling exports, and economists are ready for another in the three months leading to December.

CNN also noted that more job cuts are expected in Japan's manufacturing sector as well, because of low demand in developed economies and China's uncertain outlook.

"We are yet to see any light out of this recession tunnel," said Takiji Okubo, principal at Japan Macro Advisors, a Tokyo consultancy.