Japan's economy grows at 0.5 per cent annual pace in Oct-Dec
|Report an Error|
Share via Email
TOKYO — Japan's economy grew at a slower than expected 0.5
The preliminary data released Wednesday show Japan has managed eighth straight quarters of growth, the longest expansion since the financial bubble of the late 1980s. Growth for the entire calendar year was 1.6
But the figures for the last quarter were mostly below analysts' forecasts.
"GDP growth slowed sharply last quarter and we think that the economy won't expand as strongly this year as it did in 2017," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary.
He noted that "capacity shortages," where short-handed or inadequately equipped factories cannot keep up with demand, tend to slow growth. "Over the last two decades, GDP has never risen by more than 1
Growth in the previous quarter was revised down to 2.2
Housing investment weakened although overall consumer spending, which accounts for the lion's share of activity, was higher.
The economy grew 0.1
The growth spurt that made Japan an economic powerhouse by the late 1980s ended in the collapse of a massive bubble in asset prices and debt, bringing on years of slower growth and restructuring of industries.
A rebound in demand thanks to stronger growth in China, the U.S. and other major economies has helped Japan's export manufacturers, helping to keep the jobless rate below 3
Japan's central bank has been infusing trillions of yen (hundreds of billions of dollars) of cash into the economy through recession-fighting asset purchases, mostly of government bonds, to counter deflation. That has encouraged investment by keeping the cost of borrowing ultralow — its key interest rate remains at minus 0.1
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has presided over that "big bazooka" of monetary easing, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks set to reappoint him for another five-year term. That would give Kuroda more time to work toward a still distant inflation target of 2