Economy

Japan economy shrinks for first time in two years

Japan economy shrinks for first time in two years

Economists has forecast annualized contraction of around 0.2%.

This brought to an end a series of eight consecutive quarters of growth, a winning streak not seen since the heady days of the "miracle" boom of the 1980s when the Japanese economy ruled the world.

"Comparing the different components of demand with our earlier forecasts, the q-q decline (-0.1%) in real private-sector capex and the q-q rise (+0.0%) in real public fixed capital formation both come as something of a surprise".

Economists say the contraction will be temporary, but there is a risk that trade friction with the United States will hurt export demand, meaning a strong recovery is not assured.

Japan's longest straight period of expansion in almost three decades ended in the first quarter of this year as the economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent.

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"The economy is unlikely to continue to contract further".

Consumers will keep purse strings tight "unless the pace of wage increases shows a clear acceleration", he said in a commentary published ahead of the data release. "The global economy is performing well and a yen is trading beyond 110 yen against the dollar, so once exports start to grow again, the economy will return to a moderate growth path".

Japan's gross domestic product was down 0.2% on quarter in the first three months of 2018, the Cabinet Office said in Wednesday's preliminary reading.

Growth for the previous quarter was also revised downward according to data released Wednesday that reflected weaker spending by consumers, businesses and the government.

Consumer spending fell marginally, registering a decline of less than one percentage point in the first quarter.


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