Monday, February 16, 2009

Japan economy shrinks at fastest pace in 35 years

TOKYO - Japan's economy contracted in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace in 35 years as a collapse in global demand continues to drain the life from the world's second-largest economy.

Japan's gross domestic product, or the total value of the nation's goods and services, dropped at an annual pace of 12.7 per cent in the October-December period, the government said Monday.

That's the steepest drop for Japan since the oil shock of 1974. It far outpaces declines of 3.8 per cent in the U.S. and 1.2 per cent in the euro zone.

The contraction underscores the vulnerability of Asia's export-driven economies during global downturns and point toward more cuts in jobs, production and profits in the coming months.

A survey of economists by the Kyodo news agency had projected an 11.6 per cent fourth-quarter contraction.

No comments: