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Japan private economists raise

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

TOKYO (Thomson Financial) - Private sector economists now forecast Japan's economy will grow at an annualized rate of 2.10 percent in the first quarter to March, slightly faster than the average estimate of 2.05 percent made in December, a survey by the government-linked Economic Planning Association showed Thursday.

The survey, conducted between December 20 and January 4, covered 36 private sector economists, with replies received from 34 of them.

For the second quarter to June 2008, the economists expect annualized growth of 2.20 percent on average, compared to the 2.10 percent rise forecast in December.

The respondents also expect delay in the timing of the next interest rate hike in Japan, with 11 economists forecasting the rise in the overnight call rate in July.

Among those polled, none predicted a rate increase between now and April.

In the December poll, eight of the respondents forecast a rate hike in February and another eight projected an increase in July.

(1 US dollar = 109.61 yen)

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 11:40 PM  

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