Japan’s Economy Probably Shrank by Most Since 1974
Japan’s economy shrank at an annual pace of more than 10 percent last quarter amid an unprecedented collapse in exports and production, a report next week may show.
Gross domestic product for the three months ended Dec. 31 contracted an annualized 11.7 percent, the sharpest slowdown since the 1974 oil crisis, according to the median estimate of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The Cabinet Office will release the report on Feb. 16 at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo.
Exports plunged a record 23.1 percent in the fourth quarter as global credit markets seized up and world growth sputtered. Toyota Motor Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. — all of which are forecasting losses for the current fiscal year — have fired thousands of workers, heightening the risk a slump in household spending will prolong the recession.