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[TOKYO] Japan's economy grew less than initially thought in the first quarter of 2017, expanding 0.3 per cent from the previous quarter instead of the 0.5 per cent earlier estimated, revised data showed Thursday.
The latest figure was much less than market expectations for an upward revision to 0.6 per cent growth as growth in private residential investment was revised down.
The data still confirmed it was the fifth straight quarter of growth, and marked Japan's longest economic expansion in more than a decade.
The surprise cut in the GDP growth rate came after the International Monetary Fund and World Bank both recently lifted their projections for Japanese expansion.
The world's number three economy has been picking up steam on the back of strong exports as the global economy recovers and demand for Japan-made products rises.
Investment linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is also giving the economy a shot in the arm.
But the government and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) are still struggling to achieve a clear break from years of on-off deflation.
Consumer prices remain way below the BOJ's 2 per cent inflation target.