TOKYO, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- The Japanese Cabinet Friday approved a 422.6 billion yen or $5.3 billion emergency stimulus package to boost a slowing economic recovery.
The step was taken by the government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda because of concerns the economy, the third largest in the world after the United States and China, could slip into a recession, Kyodo News reported.
Japan's economy was hit hard by the devastation from a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Since then, its export-reliant economy also has been burdened by falling demand for its products due to the global slowdown and slowing domestic demand.
Financing for the new stimulus package would largely come from contingency funds in the budget because no new debt can be issued.
The Wall Street Journal quoted analysts as saying the package is relatively small for the troubled economy.
"The best it could do is to add 0.1 percentage point" to the annual gross domestic production growth, Toshihiro Nagahama, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, told the Journal. "If you are asking whether it could help turn an anticipated contraction into an expansion, that's not going to happen."
But the Journal said the stimulus step could bring more pressure on the Bank of Japan, the country's central bank, to take new steps to help the economy.
Separately on Friday, the Japanese government said key consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in September from a year earlier, the fifth straight monthly decline.
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