TOKYO: Japan’s economy grew at an annualized rate of 6 pct in April-June in inflation-adjusted real terms, the fastest pace of expansion since October-December 2020 and the third consecutive quarter of growth, led by brisk automobile exports following an easing of semiconductor shortages, government data showed Tuesday.
The country’s economy is “expected to remain on a gradual recovery trend” on the back of improved employment and income conditions and companies’ strong appetite for investments, economic and fiscal policy minister Shigeyuki Goto said in a statement.
Goto added that “full attention should be given to the impact of price increases and downward risks to overseas economies.”
The country’s annualized gross domestic product reached a record high of 560.74 trillion yen in the second quarter of this year, eclipsing the previous record of 557.41 trillion yen marked in July-September 2019, before a consumption tax increase in October the same year.
Exports climbed 3.2 pct in the three months ended in June from the previous quarter, driven by an increase in consumption by visitors to Japan, which is counted as exports in the GDP statistics, in addition to strong automobile exports.
Imports fell 4.3 pct, the third consecutive quarter of decline, reflecting lower imports of crude oil and other mineral fuels.
Personal consumption was down 0.5 pct, the first decline in three quarters. Rising dining-out and accommodation expenditures following the downgrading of COVID-19 to a lower-risk infectious disease category in May were more than offset by lower spending on food and beverages and home appliances due to rising prices.
Corporate capital spending inched up 0.03 pct, growing for the second straight quarter, thanks to increased software investment. Public works spending increased 1.2 pct, rising for five quarters in a row.
Domestic demand made a negative contribution of 0.3 percentage point to the 1.5 pct quarter-on-quarter GDP growth, while external demand made a positive contribution of 1.8 point.
In nominal terms, the country’s GDP rose at an annualized rate of 12 pct.