Japan’s economy shrinks for first time in a year

Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time in a year in the third quarter, stoking further uncertainty about the outlook as global recession risks, a weak yen and higher import costs took a toll on household consumption and businesses.

The world’s third biggest economy has struggled to motor on despite the recent lifting of Covid curbs, and has faced intensifying pressure from red-hot global inflation, sweeping interest rate increases worldwide and the Ukraine war.

Gross domestic product fell an annualized 1.2% in July-September, official data showed, compared with economists’ median estimate for a 1.1% expansion and a revised 4.6% rise in the second quarter.

It translated into a quarterly decline of 0.3%, versus a forecast 0.3% growth.

On top of being squeezed by a global slowdown and soaring inflation,…

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