Japan GDP Shrinks for First Time in Over 2 Years

The Japanese economy contracted 0.2 percent on quarter in the three months to March of 2018, following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent growth in the previous period while markets expected no growth, preliminary estimates showed. It was the first contraction since the fourth quarter of 2015, as private investment fell and households' consumption was unchanged.
Cabinet Office | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com 5/16/2018 7:08:47 AM
The largest negative contribution to GDP was from private demand at 0.2 percentage points, of which private residential investment (-0.1 percentage points) and change in private inventories (-0.1 percentage points). Meanwhile, net trade had a positive contribution of 0.1 percentage points while public demand was neutral.

Private demand fell 0.3 percent in the first quarter (vs 0.3 percent in Q4), driven by a decline in both private residential investment (-2.1 percent vs -2.7 percent), and private non-residential investment (-0.1 percent vs 0.6 percent). In addition, private consumption stalled as widely expected, following a downwardly revised 0.2 percent growth in the fourth quarter, as households' consumption was unchanged (vs 0.2 percent in Q4).

Also, public demand was flat, after a 0.1 percent drop in the fourth quarter, with both government consumption and public investment showing no growth.

On the other hand, net external demand contributed positively to GDP growth, as exports rose 0.6 percent (vs 2.2 percent in Q4) while imports advanced at a softer 0.3 percent (vs 3.1 percent in Q4).

On an annualised basis, the GDP shrank 0.6 percent in the first quarter, compared to a downwardly revised 0.6 percent expansion in the preceding period and worse than market expectations of a 0.2 percent fall. It was the first contraction in two years, ending the longest straight period of uninterrupted growth in 28 years. Private consumption and public demand were flat while investment spending fell.

Japan GDP Shrinks for First Time in Over 2 Years