Japan’s economic growth was slower than initially estimated in the fourth quarter of 2013, government data showed Monday, adding to concern that the economy may fall back at a faster pace following a consumption tax hike in April.
The world’s third-largest economy expanded by an annualized 0.7 percent in price-adjusted terms in the three months through December, downgraded from an initial estimate of a 1.0 percent rise due to weaker growth in capital spending and private consumption, the Cabinet Office said.
The October-December expansion in real gross domestic product, the total value of goods and services produced at home, translated into a 0.2 percent increase from the previous quarter.
Though GDP grew for the fifth quarter in a row, the latest figure fell short of the average market forecast of an annualized 1.0 percent rise, sparking concerns that the economy may not get back on the growth path after falling back on the 3-percentage-point consumption tax hike to 8 percent next month.
Corporate capital spending, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet views as key to shoring up the economy, increased 0.8 percent from the previous quarter, but was downgraded from a 1.3 percent rise reported in the preliminary data released Feb. 17.
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