Japan’s economy contracted the most since the record earthquake three years ago as consumption and investment plunged after an April sales-tax increase aimed at curbing the world’s biggest debt burden.
Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 6.8 percent in the three months through June, the Cabinet Office said. That was less than the median estimate of 37 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News for a 7 percent drop. Unadjusted for price changes, GDP declined 0.4 percent.
While Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is counting on a quick rebound, the economy was struggling in June, with output falling the most since March 2011 as companies tried to pare elevated inventories. The government is ready to take flexible action if needed, Economy Minister Akira Amari said today, as Abe weighs whether Japan can bear another bump in the levy in 2015.
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