Econintersect: The preliminary reading on fourth quarter 2010 in Japan is that real GDP contracted by 1.1% on an annualized basis. The big factors driving the decline were slowing exports and fading of government stimulus programs. The preliminary number is actually better than expected. The median forecast of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a 2% drop.The latest data increases China’s lead over Japan as the worlds second largest economy. The preliminary reading for China in the fourth quarter was real GDP advancing at almost a 10% annual rate.
The Nikkei 225 Index of leading Japanese stocks took the news in stride Monday morning with midday trading seeing the market ahead by more than 1%.