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The Japanese economy exceeds expectations of a slowdown



  Japanese crossing a street in Shibuya

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Japan's economy grew unexpectedly in the three months to March, reversing forecasts of a decline in the world's third-largest economy.

The economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.1

% over the period, as preliminary data on gross domestic product (GDP) showed.

This exceeded analysts' expectations of a 0.2% decline as imports fell faster than exports.

The data was scrutinized for signs that a planned increase in sales tax could be delayed.

Surprising expansion of official GDP This figure was mainly driven by imports, which declined faster than exports.

Imports fell 4.6%, according to Reuters, while exports fell more than 2.4%.

"The surprising resilience of the economy at the beginning of the year means that GDP growth will rise" This year, stronger than expected, "said Marcel Thieliant, Japanese senior economist at Capital Economics.

Mr. Thieliant also said that Japan, after the better than expected growth figures, will "push ahead with the VAT increase planned for October 1."

Some policymakers demanded a delay in the VAT increase of 8 In the light of uncertain economic conditions both domestically and abroad, growth rates of 10% to 10% increased.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already delayed the planned increase, and uncertainties in the global economy – including the slowdown in growth in China and the US trade war – have led some to fear that it will be delayed again .

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The Minister of Economic Affairs, Toshimitsu Motegi seemed to point out that the plans for an increase in the sales tax on course remained.

"There is no change in our view that the fundamentals for domestic demand remain sound," said Reuters.


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