The Daily Manila Shimbun


GDP grows for 5th straight quarter

May 18, 2017

Tokyo- Japan's gross domestic product in January-March grew 0.5 percent from the previous quarter in price-adjusted real terms, up for the fifth straight quarter, led by private consumption and exports, government data showed Thursday.

The rising streak was the longest since real GDP expanded for six consecutive quarters from January-March 2005 to April-June 2006.

The latest quarter-on-quarter growth translates into a 2.2 percent annualized rise, outpacing the median forecast of a 1.7 increase in a Jiji Press poll of 21 economic research institutes.

In nominal terms, however, January-March GDP inched down 0.03 percent quarter-on-quarter for an annualized decline of 0.1 percent, down for the first time in five quarters, partly because imports topped exports reflecting higher oil and gas prices, according to the preliminary data released by the Cabinet Office.

"The Japanese economy remains on a moderate recovery trend," Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Nobuteru Ishihara told a news conference, noting that consumer sentiment has "picked up somewhat."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a separate press conference that the government aims to further expand the virtuous circle by realizing a society in which all people can play active roles and promoting work-style reforms.

In fiscal 2016, which ended in March, real GDP rose 1.3 percent year on year, up for the second successive year. Nominal GDP came to 537,986 billion yen, the highest level since comparable data became available in fiscal 1994.

In January-March, private consumption expanded 0.4 percent quarter on quarter in real terms, up for the fifth consecutive quarter, led by robust spending on smartphones and clothes. Its growth firmed up after slowing down in the previous quarter partly due to a surge in vegetable prices due to unfavorable weather. (TOKYO, Jiji)