Private economists are forecasting a boom in 2012 and 2013, as the rebuilding of the devastated Tohoku region in north-eastern Japan acts as a big stimulus, which will offset slower growth in America and Europe. Official estimates put the damage at between ¥16 trillion and ¥25 trillion ($210 billion-330 billion). The government has already budgeted for ¥6 trillion to pay for reconstruction, which has yet to kick in. An additional stimulus package, perhaps as large as ¥10 trillion, is being debated in the Japanese parliament. The surge in public spending means that Japan is almost certain to resume growth in the second half of this year.
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