Japan posts slower GDP growth in third quarter

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tokyo, Japan (4E) – Japan reported slower than anticipated economic growth in the third quarter while October current account figure unexpectedly showed a deficit, according to a government report released Monday in Tokyo. The weak data indicates a bump in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy.

Asia’s second-largest economy posted a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.1 percent on an annualized basis from the previous quarter when it climbed 3.6 percent, according to the Cabinet Office, lower than the initial estimate of 1.9 percent.

Japan’s current account posted a deficit of 128bn yen ($1.2bn), the first shortfall since January, according to the finance ministry. The median forecast called for a 149bn yen surplus.

The Cabinet Office also reported inventories that were lower than previously estimated, saying they contributed 0.7 percentage point to the annualized quarterly growth.

The weak inventories and lower than anticipated business investment led to the downward revision in growth, the Cabinet Office said. Business spending was flat in the third quarter from the previous three months, lower than the initial estimate of 0.2 percent gain.

Centering on an aggressive monetary stimulus into the economy by the central bank, Mr. Abe’s radical policy shift known as Abenomics also caused the yen to weaken against the dollar, boosting Japanese exporters’ profits.

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