Japan’s economy contracted in the first quarter for the first time since 2015, according to an early reading that showed a drop of nearly 1 per cent in domestic demand.
A preliminary reading on gross domestic product from Japan’s Cabinet Office showed an annualised contraction of 0.6 per cent in the first quarter, coming in well below a median forecast calling for a 0.2 per cent fall from economists polled by Reuters. Private demand fell an annualised 0.9 per cent.
The contraction snapped an eight-quarter streak of growth that was the longest stretch of uninterrupted growth since a 12-quarter run that ended in 1989.
The cabinet office also revised fourth-quarter GDP growth to an annualised 0.6 per cent from 1.6 per cent previously.
Quarter-on-quarter GDP fell 0.2 per cent, with sequential growth in the December quarter revised from 0.4 per cent to just 0.1 per cent.
Private demand dropped 0.3 per cent quarter on quarter, pulling headline growth down 0.2 percentage points as private residential investment fell 2.1 per cent.
Exports rose 0.6 per cent sequentially and imports grew 0.3 per cent, shaking out to a 0.1 percentage point increase in the headline figure.