Japan exits its recession

JAPAN became the latest major economy to emerge from recession yesterday, as its GDP for the April-June quarter grew 0.9 per cent, after four consecutive quarters of contraction.<br /><br />The news comes after data earlier this month showed that the economies in France, Germany and Hong Kong were growing, indicating that the global slowdown is easing.<br /><br />But analysts warned of a rocky road ahead as the nascent recovery was based on short-term stimulus efforts.<br /><br />&ldquo;As a result of the billions of Yen that the Japanese government has poured into the economy, domestic consumption has gone up a touch,&rdquo; BGC Partners&rsquo; Howard Wheeldon said yesterday. <br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s nice, until you are forced to remind yourself that this small yet welcome gain came off the back of four extremely bad previous quarters and that, as has been the case for more than a generation, the Japanese economy survives to prosper only as a progressive export nation,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />Japan&rsquo;s government stimulus measures have totalled &pound;159bn, including cash handouts and incentives to buy energy-efficient cars and home appliances.<br /><br />Manufacturers in Tokyo have also been reaping benefits from rapidly recovering demand in China, with overall exports up 6.3 per cent during the quarter.<br /><br />The Nikkei fell back yesterday, however, as the growth rate was less than analysts had hoped.<br /><br />France and Germany&rsquo;s economies both grew by 0.3 per cent between April and June, while the UK&rsquo;s shrank by 0.8 per cent.