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etvfutures.com May 22, 2018


Japan GDP On Tap For Wednesday

16 May 2018, 09:31 | Cesar Cruz

GDP marks first contraction in 9 quarters

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

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.

The economy was stalled by stagnant private consumption, which was flat in the January to March period after an uptick of 0.2 percent in the final quarter of a year ago.

The GDP deflator fell 0.2% on year, defying forecasts for a gain of 0.3% following the flat reading in the previous three months.

With an excess of 1.58 jobs per person in Japan, falling wages - which decreased by 0.15% in the 12 months leading to February - is the cause of this decline.

Japan's Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Wednesday there was no change to the government's view that the economy was recovering moderately.

"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. In the first quarter exports expanded by 0.6% after 2.2% growth in the previous quarter. However, there are concerns that trade friction with the USA could affect demand for exports.

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Capital investment was down 0.1 percent.

Consumers will keep purse strings tight "unless the pace of wage increases shows a clear acceleration", he said in a commentary published ahead of the data release.

"There are worries about some emerging economy markets but the global economy as a whole is likely to continue its recovery for some more time".

The first-quarter contraction could make Japanese politicians more reluctant to implement a hike in sales tax to 10 percent from the current 8 percent scheduled for next year.

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



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