Japan's economy shrank for the first time in nine quarters

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Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent in January-March, contracting for the first time in nine quarters, as private consumption and capital expenditure slowed, government data showed on Wednesday.

That marked the end of the longest sequence of growth since a 12-quarter run between April-June 1986 and January-March 1989 during the asset-inflated bubble economy.

The preliminary reading for first-quarter gross domestic product compared with a median estimate of a 0.2 percent annualised contraction in a Reuters poll of economists.

It followed a downwardly revised 0.6 percent annualized rate of expansion in the fourth quarter, the Cabinet Office data showed.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP shrank 0.2 percent, versus the median estimate for a GDP to remain unchanged.

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