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P.M. BRIEFING : Japan Hails 2.2% 1st Quarter Rise

June 19, 1989| From Times wire services

TOKYO — Japan said today its economy grew 2.2% in the first quarter of 1989, as the pace of growth picked up from the 0.8% rise in the last quarter of 1988.

The report showed what government officials called an ideal performance in the January-March period, but private economists said they see some signs of troubles ahead.

"Japan's economy is on an ideal growth path, bolstered by firm domestic demand," Shinyasu Hoshino, vice minister for economic planning, told reporters.

That is good news for Japan's trading partners, who have been pressing Tokyo to consume more at home and export less in order to cut the country's huge trade surplus.

But economists questioned how long the good times will last, warning that the recent strength of the dollar could touch off an explosion in exports and a strong rise in domestic prices.

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