1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Worse Japan recession

December 8, 2014

Revised data from Tokyo have shown the world's third-largest economy has shrunk more than originally calculated. Consumers still felt the sting of a 3 percent VAT tax hike in April, but indicators are pointing upwards.

Tokyo port
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Japan's economy contracted by 0.5 percent in the July to September period, revised data from the Cabinet Office revealed Monday.

The drop came after a 1.7 percent decline in gross domestic product in the previous quarter, meeting a common definition of recession as two consecutive quarters of what pundits love to call "negative growth."

The third-quarter reading was much worse than the median forecast of a 0.1 percent shrinkage in a survey by the Nikkei economic daily.

Taxed to the limit?

On an annualized rate, Japan's economy contracted by 1.9 percent in the period under review, against an initially estimated drop by 1.6 percent.

The revised figures came as Japanese consumers were still thought to suffer from a 3 percent sales tax hike in April of this year.

Faced with a series of uninspiring data, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently delayed a second VAT tax hike planned for next year to 2017. He also dissolved the lower chamber of Parliament for snap elections on December 14, two years ahead of schedule, with a view to bolstering his pubic image.

Abe had pursued a policy of aggressive monetary easing (commonly known as Abenomics) in a bid to fuel growth and fight deflationary pressures in the country.

hg/cjc (AFP, dpa)