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Japan GDP Revised Up on Capital Spending Surge
Date: Jun 8, 2014
Source: Wall Street Journal – by Takashi Nakamichi
TOKYO — The Japanese government on Monday raised its economic growth reading for the first quarter, saying that capital spending was sharply higher than initially thought.
Gross domestic product increased at an annualized rate of 6.7% in the January to March period from the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said, revising its initial estimate of a 5.9% expansion. The result, adjusted for price changes, marked the sixth straight quarterly expansion.
The surprise upward revision showed that a consumption splurge ahead of a tax increase in April was not the only factor fueling growth in the quarter, as Japan’s economy continued to expand under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-growth policies known as Abenomics.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei had forecast a downward revision to a 5.5% rise.
Closely watched capital investment—a pillar of domestic demand that drove first-quarter growth along with consumption—was revised up to a 34.2% increase from a preliminary 21.0% jump, based on new information obtained since initial GDP estimates were released about a month ago.
The government said this was the strongest growth since the October to December quarter in 2011.
Monday’s data underlined the contrasting fortunes of major economies. Over the same quarter, the economy of the 18-nation euro bloc grew less than 1.0%, hobbled by sluggish demand and very low inflation, while the U.S. economy shrank 1.0% amid unusually cold weather.
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