Wednesday, 20 June, 2018


GDP marks first contraction in 9 quarters

Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images Koichi Kamoshida Getty Images Koichi Kamoshida Getty Images
Conrad Doyle | 16 May, 2018, 09:52

"The economy maintains momentum towards recovery but exports are slowing as global growth seems to have peaked in the fourth quarter", said Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at BNP Paribas Securities.

"Private consumption and public demand were flat while investment spending and net exports fell slightly", he said in a note to clients. "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".

"Manufacturers are piling up inventories of goods and the United States is leaning towards protectionism, so Japan's economy may struggle to accelerate in the second quarter onwards". The bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 1.50%.

Japan's economy shrank at an annualised rate of 0.6 per cent in January-March, contracting for the first time in nine quarters, as private consumption and capital expenditure slowed, government data showed on Wednesday.

The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 2.24 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,802.91.

Fourth quarter growth was revised to an annualized 0.6 percent, down from the 1.6 percent estimated earlier. Heavy snows in February also restricted household spending by keeping consumers inside and driving up vegetable prices.

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