Japan, the world's number three economy, will likely plunge into recession in the next several months, following a triple disaster that has dampened business confidence, discouraged consumer spending, and slashed exports.
After reviewing analysis from 11 major private economic institutions, the Nikkei business newspaper says that Japan's economy will shrink 2.6 percent on the average. Recovery is not expected until the July-September quarter, says the newspaper.
Economists believe the Japanese economy will expand 1.2 per cent in the July-September quarter and 5.6 per cent the following quarter, the Nikkei said.
The cost of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is estimated to hit 25 trillion yen (US$297 billion).
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