Japan revises GDP to nearly flat, showing fragile recovery


Japans economy grew at an annual pace of 0.1 per cent in October-December, in a downgrade from an earlier 0.6 per cent increase, showing how the worlds third-largest economy was barely eking out growth.

The Cabinet Offices revised figure for seasonally adjusted gross domestic product, or GDP, for the last three months of 2022 showed growth on quarter was flat, down from an earlier estimate given in February at 0.2 per cent growth.

The annual rate shows what the growth would have been if the on-quarter rate continues for a year.

Domestic demand shrank 0.3 per cent, worse than the earlier release, showing a 0.2 per cent decline, according to the data released Thursday. Public demand stood unchanged from the initial figure at plus 0.3 per cent.

The latest numbers underline Japans fragile recovery, although the easing of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic has helped.

Japan has struggled over a shortage of imported parts from China, and the rest of Asia, such as computer chips for the auto industry, as well as inflation, especially the higher prices of energy, worsened by Russias war in Ukraine.

The return of economic activity, especially tourism, is expected to bolster the rebound.

Restaurants and other businesses are welcoming the return of crowds, as vaccination is generally widespread in Japan. Although COVID cases still persist, including deaths, the nation has been gradually relaxing measures, such as crowd size restrictions or mask-wearing requirements.

Japans economy shrank 0.3 per cent in the July-September period from the previous quarter. GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in a country.

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