11 Jun 2013

The Japanese economy grew at a quicker pace than originally reported in the first quarter, according to revisions released by the Cabinet Office on Monday.

The revisions show that gross domestic product rose at a 4.1% annual pace in the first three months of the year. On a quarterly basis, Japan’s GDP increased by 1.0%.

The numbers are a modest improvement over the initial 3.5% estimate for annualized growth.

Japan’s economy had been in a shallow recession as recently as last year, and the positive data should bolster hopes that the country’s economic outlook is brightening. The growth could also provide a boost to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reform efforts — a set of policies dubbed “Abenomics.”

Abe had argued forcefully that the Bank of Japan needed to take aggressive action to stimulate Japan’s flagging economy — and made that a centerpiece of his election campaign last year.

The idea is that further easing, combined with more government spending on economic stimulus, could push up prices and end years of deflation, leading to more robust growth for the world’s third largest economy.

Written by Charles Riley, CNNMoney Hong Kong.

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