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Reuters reported that “Japan’s economy contracted at an annualised rate of 3.4% in January-March, government data showed on Monday, marking the second straight quarter of contraction and meeting the technical definition of recession, due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

It marked the first recession since the second half of 2015.

The preliminary reading for first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) compared with economists’ median estimate of a 4.6% decline in a Reuters poll, the Cabinet Office data showed.

It followed a revised 7.3% contraction in October-December.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP shrank 0.9 in January-March, compared with the median forecast for a 1.2% decline, the data showed.

Private consumption, which makes up more than half of the economy, fell 0.7%, while capital spending dropped 0.5% and exports slid 6.0%, it showed.

Key notes

  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR REAL GDP -0.9% QTR/QTR (REUTERS POLL: -1.2%)
  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR ANNUALISED GDP -3.4% (POLL: -4.6%)
  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR PRIVATE CONSUMPTION -0.7% QTR/QTR (POLL: -1.6%)
  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR CAPEX -0.5% QTR/QTR (POLL: -1.5%)
  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR EXTERNAL DEMAND CONTRIBUTION TO GDP -0.2 PCT POINT (POLL: 0.0 PCT PT)
  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR EXPORTS -6.0% QTR/QTR
  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR DOMESTIC DEMAND CONTRIBUTION TO GDP -0.7 PCT POINT
  • 17-May-2020 17:50:00 – JAPAN JAN-MAR GDP DEFLATOR +0.9% YR/YR

More to come…