NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Japan witnessed its fourth consecutive quarter of economic growth enabling it to take back from China its position as the world's second-largest economy after beating gross domestic product expectations.
The Japanese economy expanded by 4.5% in the third quarter of the year, exceeding analysts' expectations by 0.6% and eating away at the nation's massive deflationary gap. Furthermore, this expansion has led to Japan's minister of economic and fiscal policy to peg an estimated annual growth for the year at around 2.6%.
Although Japan has been exceeding growth expectations, it is important to take this outperformance with a grain of salt. The nation's economic growth was primarily driven by increases in private-sector inventories which further suggest that now that inventories have been replenished, production cuts are likely to prevail. Another driver behind increased GDP was an increase in domestic consumption driven by deadlines for subsidies for environmentally friendly vehicles and other economy boosting measures, which are expected to expire and have a negative effect on future consumption. In fact, these trends are already starting to prevail as unemployment rates have started to worsen, industrial output has started to decline, retail spending has started to taper off and exports are slowing down.To put further strains on Japan's economic outlook, corporations are starting to practice more cautious with regards to investing, and policymakers are hinting at increasing the consumption tax rate to procure money for the nation's aging population. At the end of the day, when it comes to economic growth, Japan faces an uphill battle and is likely to lose its place as the world's second largest economy sooner rather than later.
- iShares MSCI Japan Index allocates nearly 19% of its assets to the consumer discretionary sector;
- iShares MSCI Japan Small Cap Index Fund allocates nearly 20.75% of its assets to consumer discretionary and is more correlated to consumer sentiment in Japan than ETFs which track and hold large-cap stocks;
- Vanguard Pacific Stock ETF allocates more than 60% of its assets to Japan .
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV