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Export slowdown adds to doubts for Japan's recovery

JAPAN'S economy is "making steady progress towards achieving the Bank of Japan's 2 per cent inflation target", BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda claimed yesterday. But a slowdown in September exports, amid signs that the boost from a weaker yen may be ending, is sparking concerns that the country's economic recovery is slowing.

Exports rose 11.5 per cent in September from a year earlier, falling short of market expectations of a 15.6 per cent rise, as sales to Asia especially slowed. "The positive effect of the weak yen may have run its course," said Junko Nishioka, chief Japan economist at RBS Securities in Tokyo.

Concerns about the world's third-largest economy go deeper than exports. They centre...

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