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November 17, 2008    

Japanese economy officially in recession

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by Kay Murchie

The Japanese economy, which is the world’s second largest, is official in recession - its first in seven years. The country has been hit by weakening exports and falling corporate investment.

The economy, which is considered a barometer for corporate and consumer strength across the world, contracted by 0.1% in the third quarter, following a 0.9% contraction in the previous quarter from April to June.

A country is considered to be in recession when it experiences two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

According to Japanese Economy Minister, Kaoru Yosano, the downtrend in the economy will continue for the time being as global growth slows.

We need to bear in mind that economic conditions could worsen further as the US and European financial crisis deepens, worries of economic downturn heighten and stock and foreign exchange markets make big swings, continued Mr Yosano.

Following the news, the benchmark Nikkei share index fell but did recovery later and closed up 0.7% at 8522. Since the start of October, the Nikkei has lost 25% of its value since.

The news follows that of last week that the eurozone has fallen into recession after the economy contracted by 0.2% in the third quarter, following a 0.2% contraction in the previous quarter from April to June.

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