Japan Narrowly Avoids Recession with Revised 4Q23 GDP Expansion of 0.4%

Japan’s revised official data reported on Monday indicated that the country had avoided a technical recession as its economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year expanded by 0.4%.

Japan’s 4Q23 GDP grew by 0.4% YoY and 0.1% QoQ, beating the provisional data from last month of 0.4% and 0.1% decline, respectively, though the number was weaker than expectations in a Reuters poll of 1.1% and 0.3% growth.

The expansion of Japan’s 4Q23 GDP was supported by a 16.4% rise in capital expenditure in the fourth quarter last year, but the revisions were weaker than estimated as the country’s private consumption remained weak.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan was expected to potentially normalize interest rates as early as March 18-19, when the bank held its meeting, while there were also signals for strong wage gains at this year’s Shunto spring wage negotiations.