Markets

Japan's economy expected to show sluggish growth in first quarter

Japan's economy expected to show sluggish growth in first quarter

People walk past an electronic board showing exchange rate between Japanese Yen and U.S. Dollar outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, March 23, 2018.

Experts emphasized they viewed the first-quarter contraction as a pause rather than the beginning of a protracted downswing, with the global economy still picking up. "Consumers will keep purse strings tight unless the pace of wage increases shows a clear acceleration", said SMBC Nikko Securities Chief Market Economist Yoshimasa Maruyama.

Exports rose 0.6 percent.

Economists don't expect the period of contraction to last long.

Slower export growth reflected a decline in shipments of mobile phone parts and factory equipment in the quarter, a government official said.




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

"There wasn't any particular driver for the weakness — private consumption and public demand were flat while investment spending and net exports fell slightly", Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economic said in a commentary.

The world's third-largest economy is shrinking again.

It was the first decline in nine quarters, snapping the longest stretch of continued expansion since the late 1980s. The median estimate was for consumer spending to remain unchanged.


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