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Japan’s economy shrinks at fastest rate since 2014

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Japan’s economy shrank at the fastest rate in five years at the end of 2019 as it was hit by a sales tax rise, a major typhoon and weak global demand.

Annualised gross domestic product (GDP) fell by a much steeper than expected 6.3% in October-December.

There are also concerns the coronavirus outbreak will mean the slump continues this quarter.

That has raised fears that the world’s third-biggest economy may fall into recession.

During the period Japanese consumer spending fell 2.9% after the country’s sales tax was raised in October to 10% from 8%. In the same month Typhoon Hagibis hit large parts of the country.

Last quarter, capital spending dropped by 3.7% and exports slipped 0.1% amid the ongoing US-China trade war.

Investors are now watching to see whether the economy will rebound after the coronavirus forced China to shut down factories and led to a big drop in Chinese tourists visiting Japan.

Read more via The Financial Times

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