Japan's economy shrinks for first time in two years

16 May, 2018, 09:02 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images

Japan will on Wednesday release preliminary Q1 numbers for gross domestic product, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.

Economists say while the contraction is temporary, the rebound will not be almost as strong as previous quarters.

Private consumption, the largest part of the Japanese economy, was unchanged, a result that was in line with market expectations.

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

"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.

In the first quarter exports expanded by 0.6% after 2.2% growth in the previous quarter.

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"However, it is clear that in the long term the pace of growth is slowing".

Export demand added 0.1% to first quarter GDP but the rate of growth is slowing.

Fourth quarter growth was revised to an annualized 0.6 percent, down from the 1.6 percent estimated earlier.

It was the first decline in nine quarters, snapping the longest stretch of continued expansion since the late 1980s.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy shrank 0.2% compared with growth of 0.1% at the end of 2017.

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

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