May 17, 2020 / 11:54 PM / 20 days ago

Japan Q1 GDP shrinks 3.4% annualised, second straight quarter of contraction

TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) - Japan’s economy contracted at an annualised rate of 3.4% in January-March, government data showed on Monday, marking the second straight quarter of contraction and meeting the technical definition of recession, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It marked the first recession since the second half of 2015.

The preliminary reading for first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) compared with economists’ median estimate of a 4.6% decline in a Reuters poll, the Cabinet Office data showed.

It followed a revised 7.3% contraction in October-December.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP shrank 0.9 in January-March, compared with the median forecast for a 1.2% decline, the data showed.

Private consumption, which makes up more than half of the economy, fell 0.7%, while capital spending dropped 0.5% and exports slid 6.0%, it showed.

For more background, please see the poll story

For the full tables, go to the Cabinet Office’s website:

here (Reporting by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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