Japan’s account deficit widens beyond estimate

Japan’s account deficit has widened to a record 1.589trn yen ($15.38bn), exceeding a median estimate for a 1.4trn yen deficit as exports failed to pick up.

Japan’s economy expanded more slowly than estimated at the end of last year, official figures showed.

The country’s GDP rose 0.7% in Q4 of 2013 – a lower level from an earlier estimate of 1.0%. Business investment and consumption were both weaker than thought.

The revised figure showed a slowdown from the 0.9% rate for the third quarter and makes expectations that the Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy further to support the economy more likely.

“The fact that growth slowed sharply marks a failure of Abenomics that depends on the weak yen and the BOJ easing. But (the policies) have neither raised Japan’s growth trend nor improved its current account,” Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief economist at Credit Suisse in Tokyo, told Reuters.



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