Japan’s Economy Contracts Most Since 2009

Japan’s economy contracted the most in more than five years, highlighting the challenge for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in steering the nation through the aftermath of a sales-tax increase.

Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 7.1 percent in the three months through June, the most since the first quarter of 2009, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The median forecast of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 7 percent drop.

The blow from the sales-tax hike in April extended into this quarter, with retail sales and household spending falling in July. The government signaled last week that it is prepared to boost stimulus to help weather a further increase in the levy scheduled for October 2015.


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