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Third-quarter Japan GDP figures catalyst for snap election

Economic data due in Japan on Monday looks likely to determine the fate of “Abenomics”, with expectations that poor third-quarter GDP figures will prompt a snap general election. Unless the July-September Gross Domestic Product figure is unexpectedly strong, Monday’s release is likely to provide the catalyst for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to rule out a promised consumption tax rise and seek a new popular mandate, two years ahead of schedule. The tax rises are aimed at paying down Japan’s enormous national debt, but they have put Abe in a tricky position as he tries to balance them with his pro-spending growth plan dubbed Abenomics. The market’s median forecast is for a 2.47 percent annualised growth rate, according to a survey of some 40 economists conducted by the Japan Center for Economic Research.

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