Japan GDP Crushes Expectations

A Japanese Geisha serves green tea. Photo: Getty / File

Japan’s first quarter GDP figures are out, hitting 1.5% and hammering market expectations.

The results show Japan’s economy is slowly getting cracking again with the first quarter results beating market expectations of 1% to hit a seasonally adjusted annualised rate of 5.9%.

Japanese growth slowed late last year but has suffered from years of dull growth, prompting the country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to to make some sweeping economic changes earlier this year including implementing a stimulus program .

One of the biggest drivers of the surge was consumer consumption leading up to the April 1 sales tax increase from 5% to 8%. Private consumption reached an annualised rate of 8.5% and helped mitigate the drag down effects of external demand – particularly from the US, one of Japan’s biggest export destinations.

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