Japan: Revised data show Japan limping out of recession in fourth quarter
March 8, 2013
According to new data released on 8 March, in the last quarter of 2012, GDP expanded a mild 0.2% over the previous quarter in seasonally adjusted annualized terms (saar). The print contrasted the 0.4% drop reported in the first estimate and confirms that Japan exited recession in Q4, after having contracted in the previous two quarters. On an annual basis, economic activity expanded 0.5% in the fourth quarter (previously reported: +0.3% year-on-year). For the full year 2012, GDP expanded 2.0%, which contrasts the 0.6% drop recorded in 2011.
The improvement over the initial estimate was mainly due to a more resilient domestic demand, while the external sector was unrevised. Private consumption expanded 2.0% (previously reported: +1.8% quarter-on-quarter saar), while public spending rose 2.7% (previously reported: +2.4% quarter-on-quarter saar). In addition, private non-residential investment contracted a less severe 5.7%, compared to the previously reported 9.9% decline.
The Bank of Japan expects the economy to expand between 1.9% and 2.5% in the fiscal year ending in March 2014. In the following fiscal year, the BoJ sees GDP growing between 0.6% and 1.0%. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see GDP expanding 1.0% in 2013, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month's projection. In 2014, the panel sees the economy growing 1.3%.