Thursday, February 8, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, February 8, 2001

Revised statistics show 0.6 percent setback in Japan

Associated Press

TOKYO — Japan’s economy shrank 0.6 percent in the July-September quarter, the government said yesterday, in a sign the country’s rebound from a lengthy slowdown is stalling.

The report on gross domestic product was revised from a preliminary announcement in December of 0.2 percent growth, handing the world’s second largest economy its first quarter of contraction since October-December of 1999.

The government’s announcement raises concerns that Japan may not meet its target for 1 percent growth this fiscal year. Data had indicated that the economy no longer was shrinking, although it had yet to attain steady growth. But yesterday’s figures show Japan has not managed to pull out of its deepest economic slump in decades.

The revisions, the most significant made to GDP figures since 1978, indicate that corporate Japan is not making a significant contribution to getting the economy back on track.

Business investment increased 1.5 percent in the July-September quarter from the previous one — far weaker than the 7.8 percent growth in the preliminary data. The slower growth suggests that corporations, a driving force of the economy, are not investing in new equipment and machinery as aggressively as economists had believed.

Personal consumption remained flat from the previous quarter in the revised data.

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