Sunday, August 12, 2012

Japan April-June GDP grows 0.3%

TOKYO: Japan's economy grew by 0.3 percent in the three months to June from the previous quarter, the government said Monday, the country's fourth consecutive rising quarter but at a slower pace than before.

The data from the Cabinet Office came in significantly weaker than market expectations for a 0.7 percent increase, as exports slowed due to weaker global growth amid the eurozone crisis.

It also marked a sharp contrast from a brisk 1.3 percent increase in the January-March period.

The government has taken a series of steps to spur growth, including offering incentives for fuel-efficient vehicle purchases and measures to rebuild the northern region hit by last year's deadly earthquake and tsunami.

But Japan's economy has faced headwinds caused by Europe's debt crisis, which has slowed growth worldwide, while a high yen has made Japanese exports less competitive in overseas markets.

Last week, the government downgraded its views on consumer sentiment and machinery orders, while the Bank of Japan effectively cut its assessments on exports and factory production.

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