Gross domestic product (GDP) of Japan fell 2.1% in the second quarter 2011 annualized rate, more than the 1.3% decline initially estimated, the government said Friday.
GDP in the third world economy shrank by 0.5% between April and June from the previous three months (against an initial estimate of 0.3%), he said.
This is the third consecutive quarter of decline for Japan is officially in recession in the first quarter, after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11 that devastated the Tohoku (northeast of the archipelago).
This natural disaster has dealt a severe blow to the Japanese economy, destroying infrastructure, damaging plants and disrupting the supply chains of companies.
Between April and June, i.e. in the weeks and months that followed, the main factor weighing on GDP has been the decline in exports (-4.9% from January to March, given unchanged after revision).
Japanese companies could not produce all the required products abroad, the key sectors of the automotive and electronics industries are particularly affected.
The turmoil in global growth also contributed to limiting Japanese shipments outside. In addition, firms reduced their investments (excluding real estate) of 0.9% from one quarter to another, while the original data published in mid-August reported a slight increase of 0.2%.
The increase in public investment to accelerate the reconstruction of the Tohoku was certainly larger estimated in the early (4.3% against 3.0%), but it was not enough to offset the decline in private demand.
The disaster of March 11 was 20,000 dead or missing and caused a nuclear plant in Fukushima Daiichi, located 220 km northeast of Tokyo. Given the initial data on activity in the spring, many economists had expected a recovery “V” of the Japanese economy boosted by reconstruction needs.
But the lack of electricity resulting from the shutdown of most nuclear reactors in the country has forced companies to reduce their power consumption during the summer, limiting their activity to some extent. The summer surges in the yen, harmful to exporters, and falling financial markets in August appear to have also have affected firms, reducing the hope of a rebound in scope.