Japan GDP contraction larger than initially estimated
The contraction in Japan's economy last quarter was larger than initially estimated, according to figures released on Dec. 8 that confirmed a recession ahead of a weekend Lower House election.
The world's third-biggest economy shrank an annualized 1.9 percent in the July-September period compared with the initial estimate of a 1.6 percent contraction. Business and public spending were weaker. In the April-June quarter, the economy dived 7.3 percent.
A consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent on April 1 is the main reason why the economy has faltered after recovering from the last recession in late 2012. Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe postponed a planned increase in the tax to 10 percent that was due in 2015.