TOKYO — Japan’s real gross domestic product contracted 0.9% in August from the previous month, according to data released on Monday by the Japan Center for Economic Research.
The contraction — the first in three months — was driven by a fall in domestic demand. Household consumption fell 0.9% while corporate capital investment declined 1.7% in August from a month ago.
The fall in private consumption was in part due to a drop in spending in services amid the worst spread of COVID-19 infections since last year.
A 17.4% fall in the production of passenger vehicles from a month earlier also did not help. JCER said in a report issued on Monday that the decline in passenger vehicle production negatively affected auto sales, dragging down consumption.
This fall also cast a shadow over trade. Goods and service exports shrank 1.8% in August from a month ago, while imports expanded 0.4%.
Of total exports, goods declined 3.6%, led by those to China which fell 6.6% while those to the U.S. dropped 2.7%.
Housing investment, however, increased by 1.2%, and public capital investment also edged up by 0.1% over the same period.