Japan revised its economic growth for the January-March quarter sharply upwards to 4.7% from a year earlier, compared to an initial estimate of 4.1% growth, the Cabinet Office said on Friday. Capital spending and private consumption were better than the government's initial estimates last month.
On a quarterly basis, Japan's first-quarter GDP grew 1.2%, up from a previous estimate of 1.0%.
However, Japan’s April balance-of-payments (BOP) data came in weaker than expected. The current-account surplus for April fell short of consensus estimates, highlighting weak global demand that is depressing exports.
The current-account surplus stood at ¥333.8 billion (US$4.2 billion), missing a ¥455.6 billion median forecast by economists.
Japan's current account surplus fell 21.2% compared with the median estimate for a 2.8% annual increase and followed an 8.6% decline in the year to March.
The trade portion of the nation’s current account was in deficit for the first time since January, today’s report showed. The trade deficit totaled ¥464 billion, widening 12.6% from a year earlier. Exports rose 11.1% from the year-ago period, while imports climbed 11.2%.
A 5.6% appreciation in the yen against the dollar since mid-March, higher energy costs and falling exports have eroded Japan's trade competitiveness. The world's third-largest economy might have peaked in the first quarter, according to many economists.
The nation’s income surplus, the portion of the current account that includes earnings from overseas investment, is preventing Japan from becoming a deficit nation.