Econintersect: Private consumption and and public investment increases led Japan's growth in the fourth quarter. Capital spending fell less than estimated in last month's preliminary data. Exports strengthened as auto manufacturers raised their 2013 profit forecasts.
GDP for 4Q 2012 rose at an annual rate of 0.2%, which would seem too miniscule to be encouraging. However, it was an improvement from -0.4% in the preliminary estimate last month. If the positive GDP number holds up it could mean that the recession that hit Japan in the second and third quarters of 2012 is over.
The current account deficit for the fourth quarter also was better than estimated last month ¥364.8 billion ($3.8 billion). The improvement in the numbers was aided by a weakening yen, down 16% against the dollar in just four months.
Japanese stocks surged Friday, up 2.64% as this is written. The Tokyo stock market has been on fire , up 44% since late October.
- Japan Returned to Growth in Fourth Quarter in Boost for Abe (Keiko Ujikane, Bloomberg, 08 March 2013)
- Japan: A Third Quarter of Recession (GEI News, 14 February 2013)
- Nikkei 225 Index (Yahoo Finance)