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June 9, 2017

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Home » Business » Economy

Japan’s growth falls below expectations

JAPAN yesterday posted lower-than-expected growth in the first quarter, but official data still confirmed that the country saw its longest economic expansion in over a decade.

The world’s number three economy grew 0.3 percent between January and March — or 1.0 percent at an annualized rate — which was down from a preliminary 0.5 percent growth estimate.

The unexpected downgrade was also below market expectations for an upward revision to 0.6 percent growth.

The surprise cut comes after the International Monetary Fund and World Bank both recently lifted their projections for Japan’s economy.

Still, the official figures also meant that Japan saw its fifth straight quarter of growth in what is its longest economic expansion in over a decade.

The economy has been picking up steam on the back of strong exports as demand for Japan-made products rises.

Investment linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is also giving the economy a shot in the arm.

“The latest figures fell short of the projections, but we've not changed our view that Japan’s economy is on a recovery path,” said Yasuhiro Takahashi, a senior economist at Nomura Securities.

The downward revision was mostly due to firms working down their inventory stockpiles, curbing new production during the first three months of the year, he said.


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