> Japan's economy is on a hot streak and it has cashed up shoppers to thank. The spending frenzy in the run up to Christmas has helped drive an eighth straight quarter of growth. GDP ticked up half a percent between October and December. Imports also soared at 2.9% fueled by plenty of demand.
While the numbers weren't as strong as predicted, Reuters' Stanley White says Japan hasn't seen this much back-to-back expansion since the 1980s bubble economy.>> Consumers are spending more money on mobile phones. They're also spending more money on cars, which is a very big ticket purchase that requires a serious financial commitment.
And we also see that consumers are spending more on dining out and leisure. This all suggest positive things for consumer sentiment and for Japanese economy going forward.>> The country's central bank is keeping a close eye on this winning run as well. It needs to hit an illusive inflation target of 2%, and with these numbers feels there might be some momentum building to finally reach that.
It's also a victory of sorts for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose Abenomics policies are geared towards reviving a sluggish economy.>> This is definitely a sign that the policies that Abe has enacted are starting to bear fruit. However, there are some risks. People are a little bit concerned about moves in financial markets.
Cuz moves in financial markets tend to have a very direct impact on consumer and investor sentiment here.>> The numbers also arrive amid reports that Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda has been nominated for a rare second term. That likely means Kuroda's ultra loose monetary policy will stay in place, capping borrowing costs at around zero.
It may be welcome news for investors as well, worried that major central banks will soon hike interest rates, after days of volatility on the markets.