Japan Jan.-March GDP Seen Down 0.99 Pct at Annual Rate

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japan's economy is expected to shrink at an annualized pace of 0.99 pct in January-March from the previous quarter in price-adjusted real terms, according to the average estimate among 36 private-sector economists announced Wednesday.

The country's seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product is thus expected to fall for the first time since April-June 2020, when the economy contracted 29.2 pct due to huge impacts from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The GDP estimate for the current quarter was released by the Japan Center for Economic Research. The pessimistic forecast came as private consumption, which makes up over half of the country's GDP, has been sluggish amid the resurgence of the coronavirus.

The average GDP contraction estimate among the economists for the first quarter of 2021 was down from annualized growth of 1.31 pct projected by them in December.

For the latest poll, answers were collected until Thursday last week, when the Japanese government decided to declare a fresh state of emergency for Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures over the epidemic. Japan's GDP may contract faster in January-March as the state of emergency, which started in the Tokyo metropolitan area a day after the decision, will be expanded to cover seven of the 43 remaining prefectures of the country as well from Thursday. The government decided the expansion on Wednesday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press