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Japan economy grows for 8th straight quarter

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Japan’s economy grew for the eighth straight quarter at the end of 2017, government data showed on Wednesday, the longest period of expansion since the boom days of the late 1980s.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of last year rose 0.1 per cent from the previous three months, the Cabinet Office said.

But the growth fell short of market expectations for a rise of 0.2 per cent and represented a slowdown from the 0.6 per cent in the preceding July-September quarter. At an annualised rate, the world’s third largest economy grew 0.5 per cent.

The gains were driven by upturns in consumer spending as well as increased investment by Japanese firms on equipment and facilities. Exports rose but imports increased at a faster pace.

The continuing economic growth is good news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been trying to fire up the economy with his pro-spending policy. The Japanese economy has enjoyed a period of export-driven growth, helped by a recovering global economy.

It has also got a shot in the arm from domestic demand spurred by infrastructure upgrades ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games. However, with wage growth and consumption persistently lukewarm, the world’s third-largest economy is still battling deflation.

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