Date
12 December 2017
Weak consumer spending has weighed down the Japanese economy. Photo: Bloomberg
Weak consumer spending has weighed down the Japanese economy. Photo: Bloomberg

Japan economy shrinks in final quarter of 2015

Japan’s economy contracted in the final three months of 2015, official data showed Monday, pointing to the nation’s continuing struggle to kickstart growth in a sustainable manner.

Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 1.4 percent in the three months ended December, following a revised 1.3 percent gain in the third quarter, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo, Bloomberg News reported.

Weakness in private consumption was the biggest contributor to the contraction, undermining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies to spur inflation and growth in the world’s third-largest economy, the report noted.

Japan’s economy has see-sawed over the past three years since Abe returned as prime minister.

That came even as central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda has ratcheted up monetary easing in concert with government efforts to spur higher wages, consumer spending and investment.

Business spending rose 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, but private consumption dropped 0.8 percent. 

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