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Economic hit from Japan quake seen up to $200 billion

Japan's devastating earthquake and deepening nuclear crisis could result in losses of up to $200 billion for the world's third largest economy but the global impact remains hard to gauge five days after a massive tsunami battered the northeast coast.

As Japanese officials scrambled to avert a catastrophic meltdown at a nuclear plant 240 km (150 miles) north of the capital Tokyo, economists took stock of the damage to buildings, production and consumer activity.

The disaster is expected to hit Japanese output sharply over the coming months, but economists warned it could result in a deeper slowdown if power shortages prove significant and prolonged, delaying or even scotching the "v-shaped" recovery that followed the 1995 Kobe earthquake.

Read the complete Reuters story, "Economic hit from Japan quake seen up to $200 billion."

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