“The monetary and fiscal stimulus that was provided helped Japan avoid a deep recession. But expectations about future nominal income growth for both households and businesses ground lower over time. With inflation expectations sinking, inflation-adjusted real interest rates rose, and Japan became mired in deflation. While deflation is ultimately a monetary phenomenon, structural elements were also important. Long-term demographic factors added to the deflationary pressures and structural rigidities, and credit supply problems constrained the reallocation of resources to growth sectors. These structural factors made it substantially more difficult to escape the deflation trap.”
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