10 Mar '11, 1am

Japan economy contracts more than expected in Q4

TOKYO: Japan's economy contracted by more than first thought in the fourth quarter of 2010 due to weaker-than-expected business investment and private consumption, data showed Thursday. The economy contracted by a revised 1.3 per cent in the quarter, compared to an initial estimate of a 1.1 per cent slide, as expiring subsidies hit car sales, a new tobacco tax sapped cigarette demand and a strong yen hurt exports. Japanese GDP data is subject to constant revision and the latest was in line with the median forecast in a survey of economists by Dow Jones Newswires and the Nikkei business daily. The data also confirmed Japan's economy grew 3.9 per cent in 2010, as it ceded its 42-year ranking as the world's second-biggest economy to China, which first eclipsed its neighbour in the second quarter. While Japan was expected to fall behind a surging China in the year, the data un...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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