Business: From Go-Go to Go-Slow

Japan prepares for a new era of diminished expectations

After a long, dark stretch of lagging growth and raging prices, the fabled Japanese economy is at last on the road to recovery. Production, discounted for inflation, rose 2.4% in the first quarter, or at an annual rate of 9.8%. That pace is expected to slow considerably later in the year. Still, Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda now insists that the government's ambitious 7% growth goal for this year "appears within reach." At the same time, the rate of inflation has fallen from a 1974 high...

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