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Japan's GDP grows annualized 2.4 pct in Q1
17/5/2007 16:00

Japan's economy grew at an annualized 2.4 percent in real terms in the first quarter of this year, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report today.
The growth corresponds to a 0.6 percent expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) from the previous quarter, continuing the ninth straight quarterly gain, according to the report. The increase rate was below market expectation of an annualized 2.7 percent rise or a 0.7 percent quarterly increase.
Government officials and economists held that the GDP data reflected the continuing recovery of Japanese economy despite a decrease of a real 0.9 percent in capital spending in the reporting quarter.
Hiroko Ota, the economic minister said that it was still "too early to say the trend has changed." She noted that the Bank of Japan's Tankan quarterly business confidence survey shows that the capital spending plans by major companies remain firm for the current fiscal year.
For fiscal 2006, the nation's economy expanded 1.3 percent in nominal terms, up for the fourth straight year, the report noted.
Consumer spending, which accounts for about 55 percent of Japan's GDP, increased a real 0.9 percent in the January-March period. Exports rose a real 3.3 percent, while imports was up a real 0.9 percent, the report said.