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TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's gross domestic product for the October-December
period might have contracted sharply on the back of the slowdown in overseas
economies, natural disasters and the post tax hike impact, according to a senior
Bank of Japan official.
Speaking on Friday, Eiji Maeda, the executive director in charge of
monetary policy at the BOJ told lawmakers, "There is the possibility that
Japan's economy had contracted sharply for the fourth quarter.
"But looking ahead, downside risks (to economic activity and prices) will
likely weaken and a moderate economic recovery will continue and prices will
rise amid solid capital investment and government spending."
Maeda said the BOJ needs to pay attention to the impact of the coronavirus
on foreign tourism in Japan and on production as the BOJ continues to support
the economy through accommodative policy.
He added that Japanese companies are suffering from labor shortages, but
the labor shortage is not restricted to Japan's economy.
The Cabinet Office will release preliminary GDP for the October-December
period on Monday. Private economists expected the GDP to have contracted due to
weak domestic demand.
The MNI median forecast is -1.0% q/q, or an annualized -3.8%, which is the
first contraction in five quarters.
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