JAPAN RECOVERING: The International Monetary Fund said Japan's economy, the world's third largest, "has improved considerably" from years of stagnation thanks to monetary easing and increased government spending.
MORE NEEDED: But the report said far-reaching reforms and a "credible plan" are needed for making "significant adjustments" to help reduce Japan's public debt, which will amount to nearly 250 percent of gross domestic product this year.
THE OUTLOOK: The IMF forecasts that Japan's economy will grow 2 percent in 2013 but will expand only 1.2 percent in 2014 as consumers tighten their belts following an expected increase in sales tax. A debate has arisen over whether the government should follow through on its pledge to raise the sales tax from 5 percent to 8 percent by next April.
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- International Monetary Fund