Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s seasonally adjusted gross domestic product in October-December grew for the second straight quarter, reflecting strong exports and private consumption, a preliminary Cabinet Office report showed on Monday.
The quarter-on-quarter GDP growth came to 3.0 pct in price-adjusted real terms, or an annual rate of 12.7 pct, beating the median forecast of a rise of 2.3 pct, or 9.3 pct, in a Jiji Press poll of 18 economic research institutes.
In nominal terms, Japan’s GDP rose 2.5 pct, or 10.5 pct, in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the country’s GDP in 2020 declined for the first time since 2009, when the global financial crisis was triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Cabinet Office report also showed.
The annual GDP fall came to 4.8 pct in real terms, with private consumption down 5.9 pct. The GDP decline was the second steepest since the end of World War II, after the 2009 slump of 5.7 pct. In nominal terms, GDP was down 3.9 pct in 2020.
Following the two straight quarters of GDP growth, Japan is likely to see a GDP fall again in the ongoing January-March quarter, as measures to tackle the pandemic were strengthened under a fresh state of emergency declared in January.
In October-December, Japan’s annualized GDP totaled 542 trillion yen, having recovered about 90 pct of the April-June loss of 45 trillion yen, which was the worst quarterly result on record.
By GDP component, private consumption increased 2.2 pct in real terms in the fourth quarter, up for two quarters in a row, with the restaurant and hotel industries supported by the government’s “Go To” demand-stimulating campaigns. Demand for automobiles and mobile phones was also firm.
Corporate capital spending expanded 4.5 pct, up for the third consecutive quarter, reflecting higher investment in semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
Exports were up 11.1 pct, led by shipments of automobiles.