Still yenning for a breakthrough

Dragging Japan out of its deflation mindset is proving tough, despite the tumbling yen and Bank of Japan’s determined programme of quantitative easing.

When the yen was stubbornly stuck near record highs in late 2012, policymakers and corporate leaders agreed that the strong currency was crippling Japan’s manufacturers and dragging down the broader economy.

So at the behest of the Japanese government and in response to 80 trillion $670 billion of annual monetary easing from the Bank of Japan over the last two years, the yen has since fallen by more than a third in value against the dollar to its weakest level since the summer of 2007.

When measured on a real effective exchange rate basis that takes into account inflation and deflation, the yen is now reckoned to...

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