Japan's economy grew 0.3 pct in fourth quarter of 2018

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 14 2019 09:00 AM

TOKYO, Japan - Japan's economy expanded in the final quarter of 2018 as the negative impact from a series of natural disasters over the summer receded, government data showed Thursday.

The world's third largest economy benefitted from a rise in domestic demand, including in corporate investment and household spending.

Gross domestic product for the last quarter of 2018 expanded 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, Cabinet Office data showed, after a 0.7 percent contraction in the quarter before.

The growth was slightly below the 0.4 percent that had been forecast by experts.

The largest driver of the rise -- an annualized rate of 1.4 percent -- was corporate investment, which rose 2.4 percent after a sharp contraction in the previous quarter.

But while domestic demand rose, weak exports offset some of positive factors, the Cabinet Office said.

The growth came after a dip following a string of natural disasters last summer, including massive flooding in western regions due to torrential rain, a typhoon that inundated a major international airport, and an earthquake in the north that disrupted supply lines.

The temporary closure of the Kansai International Airport led to a fall in tourism and overseas shipments.