People cross streets at Tokyo's shopping and entertainment district of Shibuya in Tokyo. Photo: AP file

Japan's economy grows at annualized rate of 1.4% in July-Sept

By Elaine Kurtenbach

Japan's economy expanded at a 1.4 percent annualized rate in July-September in the seventh straight quarter of growth for the world's third-largest economy.

The economy is in its longest period of expansion since 2001. But it slowed from a 2.6 percent annualized rate of growth in April-June, the Cabinet Office reported Wednesday.

In quarterly terms the economy grew 0.3 percent, slowing from a 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in April-June.

Strong exports and corporate investment helped offset relatively weak household demand, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of business activity but remains fragile thanks to sluggish growth in wages.

Private consumption fell 0.5 percent in July-September from the previous quarter, the first such decline in seven quarters, the report said. In annualized terms, it fell 1.8 percent.

While the revival in exports thanks to recovering demand in China, the U.S. and other major markets has breathed fresh life into the economy, Japan's long-term outlook remains uncertain.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office nearly five years ago vowing to "take back Japan" by spurring inflation that he and his advisers said would lead companies to invest and raise wages in a "virtuous cycle" that would break Japan out of a deflationary rut.

Inflation remains flat, however, and companies have balked at raising base wages despite reaping record profits in recent years, anticipating that future demand will shrink as Japan's population ages and declines. Instead, they have focused on expanding into faster growing overseas markets.

"The bigger picture is that wages are not rising any faster this year than they did last year even though the labor market has continued to tighten," Capital Economics said in a recent report.

"With Japan's population set to shrink further in coming years, expanding sales destinations overseas makes good business sense," it said.

Economists expect growth to slow in 2018-2019, partly because of limits to factory, logistics and hiring capacity and partly because of a sales tax hike promised for October 2019.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2017 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The economy is awful here for many people. But we are always showered with these optimistic figures. Just a game.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

These figures mean jack for the vast majority of people. Just certain elites in Tokyo and Japan Inc. clients. Food is now accounting for more of the avergae family budget than ever before, wages have been nearly stagnant for decades and the inaka continues to die.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Private consumption fell 0.5 percent in July-September, the first such decline in seven quarters, the report said.

In quarterly terms the economy grew 0.3 percent, slowing from a 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in April-June.

there is no good news here for workers, when you have to use 0.???, rather than a full number things are slightly slightly fluctuating and going backwards when as mentioned food costs are rising and to rub it in the foods are not that great and lack variety. Thank god my family send me food parcels.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

And of course, not a word about bitcoin, wich adoption is growing gigantic by the hour in Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

And of course, not a word about bitcoin, wich adoption is growing gigantic by the hour in Japan.

bitcoin? the biggest scam in the world. Enjoy convincing people bitcoin is legit.

And NEVER trust economic figures put out by the J govt. They are sugar coating the numbers to justify raising taxes soon.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I forgot to ask are these final figures or will they be actually checked and adjusted in a few months? Although the difference between 0.1 and 0.025 will affect my purchase of a small bag of potatoes vs a smaller tray of tomatoes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The economy made be growing but not totally because of hard working Japanese spending. Tourist are feeding the economy. As stated in yesterday's news, companies are not give their staff wage hikes. Instead spending the money on M&A. So, great! The rich are getting richer and the average household is getting poorer.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I just want to know what is the criteria of economic growth in Japan. Is it sales + production fields scaled up, or figures according to this decreasing population, or to say, more people employed with better salaries ( that I doubt), or another propaganda of LDP Abe administration with Bank of Japan to show in congress what is good this Abenomics on going? The last one is much understandable why it is exposed in media.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

well at least high food prices keeps the locals thin and reduces the burden of lifestyle diseases,,,

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan's economy grows 1.4% in July-Sept

and how many of us have grown 1.4% richer?? Anyone?? Wha..No hands?

2 ( +4 / -2 )


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good news, hopefully we see a general increase in economic activity domestically as well, rather than just for the exporters and investment earners

0 ( +2 / -2 )

When the news is bad, you all gleefully point to it to justify your doomsaying Japan view. When the news is good, you all cry "Fake news."

LOL. Heard it all before from the likes of Trump and his minions. Well, guess what folks, the Japanese economy IS improving, confounding your dour predictions (but not mine) of years past.

The problem is inequality, caused largely by corporate greed, which was unleashed by the "3rd Arrow" of Abenomics reform.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

OK, am I the only one who is doing really well here at JT? The past decade since I wrapped up university have been very good. Pay continues to grow etc.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This massive deception is only going to increase till sometime next year when the tax will hike to 10% and the lemmings will welcome it with open arms. Hang onto your breeches folks//!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As it is its global, mostly first world global.

or is the US the only one needing a boost with all the taxes going to what, islands tax islands?

But then we are choking or starting to!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I lived in Japan for a number of years ending in 2007, but my wife is Japanese so we go back all the time. We live in the US. What has been eye-opening is the lack of inflation there. The prices for things are more or less the same as they were when I was living there 10-15 years ago. Good for me when I want to get sloshed at back-to-back nomihodai's with old friends and take taxi back to my in-laws house, not so great for Japanese folks in the greater economic scheme of things.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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