Oops, no recession for Japan

Revised figures for the third quarter showed that the Japanese economy avoided a technical recession.

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Japan: be wary of the figures

Revised figures for the third quarter show that the Japanese economy grew at 0.3% quarter-on-quarter rather than shrinking by 0.2%, as previously thought. This means the country avoided a technical recession. The second quarter contraction was also slightly less severe than thought (-0.1%, rather than -0.2%).

The big change came in investment, which apparently increased by 1.3%, instead of falling by 0.6%. The new figures also suggested that the fall in inventories (company stockpiles) was smaller than the original estimate.

What the commentators said

Indeed, the new figures "go some way to vindicating the Bank of Japan's decision not to ease monetary policy this autumn and reduces the chances of more easing in the near future", said the FT's Robin Harding. But it's always worth being wary of these figures anyway: "Japan devotes fewer staff to the national accounts than many other countries and senior policymakers often complain about the quality of the data".

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