Japan economy marks 4th straight quarter of expansion
TOKYO, Dec 9: Japan's economy expanded at a faster than earlier estimated annual rate of 1.8per cent in July-September, powered by stronger consumer purchases and corporate investment ahead of an Oct. 1 tax hike.
However that tax increase is expected to hurt growth in coming months.
The data issued Monday were a revision of the earlier reported 0.2per cent growth in the last quarter. The quarterly rate of expansion was 0.4per cent.
The world's third largest economy has marked four straight quarters of expansion. The better results reported by the Cabinet Office also reflect a less severe drop in exports than preliminary reports suggested. However economists are forecasting much weaker growth in the October-December quarter.
A Bank of Japan measure of consumer demand showed a 7.4per cent drop in October following the increase in the sales tax to 10per cent from 8per cent. That "points to a sharp fall in private consumption in the fourth quarter," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary.
"We are more pessimistic about the outlook for global GDP growth than most analysts and therefore think that external demand will remain weak," he said. "The upshot is that we expect GDP growth to shrink by 0.2per cent next year." -AP