Gallon of gas $4.09
Interest Rates 0.1%
Challenges The Nikkei hit another 26-year low in mid-March after rebounding slightly in the beginning of 2009. The housing crisis and inability to export goods that were once in high-demand have led to rising unemployment.
Solutions To ease credit, the government cut interest rates in October for first time in more than seven years, and trimmed them again in December. The Bank of Japan also unveiled a $100 billion plan to buy up bank loans. In October, the government unveiled a $275 billion stimulus package, including loans for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as tax rebate checks to households. Prime Minister Taro Aso called on the government to provide even more stimulus in March.
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Sources: IMF, national statistics offices, central banks, Nikkei 225, AIRINC