Nikkei leaps upward on strong Japanese growth in first quarter

THE JAPANESE economy grew at a respectable pace of one per cent in the first quarter, up from 0.3 per cent in the last three months of 2012, it was announced yesterday.

The Nikkei stock index rose on the announcement, up 4.94 per cent over the day, following a volatile May that saw a rapid climb followed by a downward slide.

The country’s current account for April was more than twice as high as April 2012’s reading. The current account balance was ¥750bn, when only ¥320bn was expected.

Markets are likely to be paying close attention to announcements today from the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting, with Haruhiko Kuroda set to hold its stance.

Abe’s structural reforms to the economy, which make up a significant part of his economic package, have struggled to impress some so far.

Chris Scicluna, head of economic research at Daiwa, remained positive: “Abe has a broadly coherent framework that is capable of making more of Japan’s potential economic output.”