Japan’s economy set to show 7 straight growth quarters

Japan’s quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.3 percent is expected after a revised 0.6 percent rise in the second quarter. (Reuters)
Updated 10 November 2017
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Japan’s economy set to show 7 straight growth quarters

TOKYO: Japan’s economy was expected have grown for a seventh straight quarter in July-September, a period of unbroken expansion last seen between 1999 and 2001, a Reuters poll found on Friday.
Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have grown at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent in the third quarter, the poll of 20 analysts showed.
That result would mark a seventh straight growth quarter, the longest period of expansion since an eight-quarter run from April-June 1999 to January-March 2001.
Quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.3 percent is expected after a revised 0.6 percent rise in the second quarter.
“Consumer spending was seen stalling in July-September but export growth likely supported solid economic expansion,” said Atsushi Takeda, chief economist at Itochu Economic Research Institute.
The poll found that private consumption, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of GDP, probably slipped 0.4 percent in the third quarter, the first fall in seven quarters.
External demand — or exports minus imports — was seen contributing 0.4 percentage point to growth, the poll found, after it subtracted 0.3 percentage point from GDP growth in April-June.
Capital spending was seen rising 0.3 percent in the third quarter, growing for a fourth straight quarter, following a 0.5 percent rise the previous quarter.
“We forecast the economy will continue to grow as both domestic and external demand pick up thanks to the global economic recovery and a softer yen,” said Hidenobu Tokuda, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute.
“But there is downside risk from the Chinese economy and we also need to closely monitor geopolitical risk from the North Korean situation,” he said.
The Cabinet Office will announce the GDP data on November 15 at 850am.
The Bank of Japan’s corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the prices companies charge each other for goods and services, was seen likely to have risen an annual 3.1 percent in October, the poll found.
Such a result would mark a 10th straight rising month and the fastest annual rate of increase since October 2008, excluding the effect of a sales tax hike in 2014.
The central bank will release the CGPI data on November 13 at 850am Japan Time.


UK retail sales slide on ‘Beast from East’ icy weather

Updated 1 min 54 sec ago
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UK retail sales slide on ‘Beast from East’ icy weather

LONDON: British retail sales slid 1.2 percent in March, as “Beast from the East” freezing weather sliced demand for car fuel but boosted online purchasing, official data showed Thursday.
“The month-on-month growth rate fell by 1.2 percent due to a large fall of 7.4 percent from petrol sales; a likely consequence of adverse weather conditions, which impacted travel,” the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.
Analysts’ consensus forecast had been for a drop of 0.6 percent.
The ONS added that “department stores were the only sector to show positive growth in March at 0.8 percent, with feedback from retailers suggesting that online offers for Mothering Sunday and Easter boosted Internet sales more than usual during the adverse weather.”
Britain suffered freezing temperatures in late February, and to a lesser extent last month, as blasts of icy weather from Siberia engulfed Europe.