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Japan GDP Growth At 1-year Low

(RTTNews) - Japan's economy grew at the slowest pace in a year in the third quarter as trade wars and a weaker global economy hurt exports and private consumption slowed.

Gross domestic product grew an annualized 0.2 percent quarterly following a revised 1.8 percent expansion in the second quarter, figures from the Cabinet Office showed on Thursday. Economists had forecast 0.8 percent growth.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP edged up 0.1 percent after a 0.4 percent gain in the previous three months. Economists had expected 0.2 percent expansion.

The latest pace of expansion was the weakest since the third quarter of 2018, when the economy shrunk.

Private consumption growth slowed to 0.4 percent from 0.6 percent. The pace of growth in household spending also eased to 0.3 percent despite a possible increase in spending ahead of a consumption tax hike in October.

Exports decreased 0.7 percent quarterly, deducting 0.2 percentage points from GDP growth. Domestic demand added 0.2 percentage points to growth. Change in private inventories subtracted 0.3 percentage points from GDP.

Growth in fixed capital formation slowed slightly to 0.9 percent from 1 percent.

The lackluster GDP data will strengthen calls for more stimuli for the economy. The Shinzo Abe government has already signaled that it is planning a stimulus package to help the economy recover from the effects of recent natural disasters and the impact of a global slowdown.

"From experience, such packages don't require any forecast response, as they usually mean that things are coming in worse than you had previously expected," ING economist Robert Carnell said.

"And we can't expect any meaningful assistance on the growth front from the Bank of Japan, which despite protests to the contrary, is out of ammunition in our view."
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