Japan, World's Third Largest Economy, Falls Into Recession

4798Strong yen and diplomatic row with major trade partner China have harmed Japan's economy.

Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa. Analysts expect the country to stay in recession in the final quarter of the year. Photograph: Yuriko Nakao/REUTERS
Japan - the world's third largest economy - has fallen into recession, hit by sluggish exports to China.

Revised official data on Monday morning showed that the Japanese economy shrank very slightly in the second quarter of 2012, by 0.03%, before contracting by 0.9% between July and September. Analysts expect the country to stay in recession in the final quarter of the year, ratcheting up the pressure on the government to take steps to boost the economy in the runup to the general election on 16 December.

Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute in Tokyo, said: "There have been some positive indicators out in October but there is still a good chance that Japan's economy will suffer another contraction in the October-December quarter."

The eurozone crisis, a strong yen that has weakened exports and a diplomatic row with major trade partner China have harmed Japan's economy, dampening hopes of a strong recovery after the 2011 tsunami.


Source: Guardian.co.uk | Josephine Moulds
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