Japan’s economy bounces back to grow 22.9% in third quarter

Japan’s economy expanded at a 22.9% annual rate in the latest quarter, as businesses and personal spending recovered from pandemic-related shocks in the spring and early summer.

Economists said the upward revision released on Tuesday was in line with forecasts and suggests Japan’s economy, the world’s third largest, is on the mend from the recession that started in late 2019, even before coronavirus outbreaks hit.

“The sizeable upward revision to Q3 GDP and the sharp rise in ‘core’ household spending in October support our view that Japan’s economy will recover from the pandemic faster than the consensus expects,” Tom Learmouth of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

“We think GDP will rise by another 2.1% (quarter-to-quarter) in this quarter and surprise to the upside next year,” he said.

Core household spending excludes costs for housing and purchases of vehicles and other volatile expenditures and is thought to best reflect consumer demand.

As is true for most major economies, the setback dealt by the pandemic has left Japan still at a lower level of economic output, 3.9% below the level of the last quarter of 2019, Mr Learmouth said.