Japan’s Economy Grows Faster Than Expected

Japan’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected rate between July and September, due to higher exports.

Gross domestic product rose at an annualized rate of 2.2% in the three months to September, the third consecutive quarter of expansion.

Japanese firms have relied on overseas sales to make up for lackluster domestic demand.

There are concerns a Donald Trump US presidency will hurt Japan if anti-free trade rhetoric became a reality.

The world’s third-largest economy expanded 0.5 percent on-quarter between July and September, for an annualized 2.2 percent gain in gross domestic product, the Cabinet Office said.

That handily beat market expectations for a 0.2 percent growth rate or an annualized expansion of 0.8 percent.

Japan’s economy contracted in the last three months of 2015, before bouncing back in January-March with a 0.5 percent rise quarter-on-quarter and then a tepid 0.2 percent expansion in April-June.

However, analysts said this pace could not be sustained given Japan’s reliance on exports.

“Consumption is barely there, and in capital expenditure there no growth … so Japan is relying very much on the outside,”

-Takuji Okubo, chief economist of Japan Macro Advisers, told the BBC.

And Kohei Iwahara, an economist at Natixis Japan Securities, said the figures could be a “one-off windfall”, predicting a slowdown in the last three months of 2016.

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