Japan’s economy has been on a strong run, but some experts are warning it may get left behind by other countries this year.
The world’s third largest economy expanded for the eighth quarter in a row at the end of last year, according to data published Wednesday. That marked its longest uninterrupted streak of growth since the booming days of the 1980s.
The economy has been lifted by years of massive stimulus by the Bank of Japan that aimed to get businesses and consumers spending again after a prolonged period of stagnation and falling prices.
But at the start of the year when much of the global economy is expected to continue enjoying a broad upswing, Japan may lag behind.
“We think that that the economy won’t expand as strongly this year as it did in 2017,” said Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at research firm Capital Economics.
There are already warning signs. In the fourth quarter, growth slowed to 0.5%, significantly below analysts’ expectations.
Japan’s economy grew about 1.6% in 2017, according to preliminary estimates. Thieliant expects that to fade to 1.2% this year.