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Japan on brink of recession

posted 12 Nov 2012, 05:15 by Mpelembe   [ updated 12 Nov 2012, 05:15 ]

Today's Daily Digit: 0.9 percent

That's how much Japan's economy shrank in the third quarter, bringing the nation to the brink of recession.

Reuters Business  Report - Shocked by the numbers Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned an urgent response was needed.


"On an annualised basis the figures showed GDP dropped by 3.5 percent. I feel these are very serious numbers."

Japan had been growing more quickly than the US and Europe in the first half of the year. But now that growth has stalled while the US in particular has taken off.

Weak exports have been among the biggest drags on Japan's economy.

A lull in demand from Europe hurting.

And now tense diplomatic relations with its biggest trading partner China adding to the pain as sales of Japanese goods such as cars plunge in Chinese cities.

Domestic consumption, which accounts for more than half the country's economy, has also been weak. Consumers are holding back on purchases.

Hugh Young of Aberdeen:


"One of the disappointment within Japan has been weakness at the center. And business globally remains tough. So Japan's export sector is not having an easy time."

Japan's economy had been boosted earlier in the year by a surge of spending to rebuild after the 2011 earthquake. But as daily life returns to normal, the surge is wearing off and Japan is starting to fall behind.