Japan’s GDP grew just 0.3% quarter-over-quarter in Q4, which was much lower than the 0.7% expected by economists.
At an annualized pace, GDP is growing at a 1.0% rate, which is far shy of the 2.8% estimated.
This is a huge disappointment as many economists expected consumers to frontload purchases ahead of an value-added tax (VAT) hike in April.
Consumer spending climbed just 0.5% quarter-over-quarter. Economists were looking for 0.8%.
“We expect the economy to overcome a consumption tax drag even though growth in Q2 2014 is likely to be negative,” said Nomura econmoists on Friday.
Markets are slightly higher early in the Asian trading session.
Korea’s Kospi is up 0.5%.
Australia’s S&P/ASX is up 0.3%.