A woman walks past Japanese national flags during an event marking Respect for the Aged Day at a temple in the Sugamo district of Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

S&P Raises Japan's Outlook to Positive on Stronger Growth

(Bloomberg) -- Standard & Poor’s raised its outlook for Japan to positive from stable, citing healthier economic growth prospects, the credit-rating company said on Friday.

Nominal growth exceeding 2 percent and negative effective real interest rates would enable relative debt to stabilize sooner than previously anticipated, S&P said. The outlook could return to stable if growth is weaker than expected and fiscal consolidation slows, it said.

S&PGR: Japan Outlook Revised To Positive; ’A+/A-1’ Rtgs Afrmd

Japan’s sovereign risk is low thanks partly to its large current-account surplus, according to Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Securities Japan.

The direct impact on Japan of S&P’s change would likely be minimal, Adachi said, but it would confer some confidence that the government’s policies are having their desired effects. "This is sort of a message that S&P believes Abenomics is working well," he said.

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