In the second quarter, Japan’s economy accelerated its growth while China’s slowed. Megumi Fujikawa reports for The Wall Street Journal:
Japan’s economy expanded at a much faster pace than expected in the April-June quarter thanks to robust exports, outpacing growth in the U.S. and China.
Japan’s real gross domestic product increased 1.5% in the three months to June from the previous quarter, compared with 0.9% growth in the January-March period.
That marked a rare case in which the world’s third-largest economy grew faster than its bigger counterparts. In China, growth slowed to 0.8% in the second quarter compared with the previous three months. Youth unemployment in China has jumped and consumption has weakened.
The Japanese economy has also expanded faster in annualized terms than the U.S., where the Federal Reserve has been raising rates aggressively to fight inflation and cool down the economy. In the April-June quarter, the Japanese economy grew an annualized 6%, compared with 2.4% in the U.S.
It was the fastest quarterly growth in Japan since 2015, not counting a period of pandemic-induced gyrations in 2020. The Japanese economy grew for a third straight quarter and finally surpassed its prepandemic size in real terms.
One reason was strength in car exports, which had struggled until recently because supply-chain problems made it hard for Japan’s car factories to meet customer demand. Overall exports rose 3.2% from the previous quarter, a strong pace in a global economy where trade overall is rising only weakly.
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