Friday, 20 July, 2018

Japan's First Quarter GDP Growth Seen Slowing Sharply In Setback For 'Abenomics'

GDP marks first contraction in 9 quarters Japan's First Quarter GDP Growth Seen Slowing Sharply In Setback For 'Abenomics'
Russell Knight | 16 May, 2018, 09:00

That snaps a run of eight quarters of consecutive growth, the longest Japan has achieved since the boom days of the late 1980s.

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

The economists polled by Reuters were expecting a 0.2 percent contraction following a downwardly revised 0.6 percent annualized rate of expansion in the fourth quarter. Economists has forecast annualized contraction of around 0.2%.

Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said there was no change to the government's view that the economy was recovering moderately, predicting a resumption in growth to be driven mainly by private consumption and capital expenditure. To get back on track, Japan needs to increase its exports.

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"Globally, IT-related items have been in an adjustment phase, which weighed down Japan's exports and factory output", said Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

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.

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

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

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