Japan GDP On Tap For Wednesday

Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images

That snaps a run of eight quarters of consecutive growth, the longest Japan has achieved since the boom days of the late 1980s.

The preliminary reading for first-quarter gross domestic product compared with a median estimate of a 0.2 per cent annualised contraction in a Reuters poll of economists.

The surprise quarterly decline saw the seasonally-adjusted annual rate decline to -0.6%, below the -0.2% level forecast by economists. To get back on track, Japan needs to increase its exports.

The limp first-quarter performance was spread across different areas of the economy, according to Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at research firm Capital Economics.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis the economy shrank by 0.2%.

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The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, lost 2.24 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,802.91.

The contraction, which was driven by a decline in investment and consumption and weaker exports, comes as Japan Inc worries about the possible effect of U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist policies on global trade.

Capital expenditure likely rose 0.4 percent, versus a 1 percent gain in the previous quarter, led by demand for factory automation and labor-saving technologies as companies tried to cope with a labor shortage.

Maruyama of SMBC Nikko Securities.

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