Japanese economic growth below expectations

<p>Japan’s economy grew for the fourth quarter in a row.</p>

New figures released today (February 17th) show the Japanese economy has expanded for the fourth quarter in a row, but the results did not meet the expectations of analysts.

Gross domestic product was revealed to be up by one per cent on an annualised basis in the three-month period to December.

This was compared with market estimates for a 2.8 per cent increase and with Japan soon to introduce a new sales tax shortly, there are concerns over the future of the country's economy.

Takuji Okubo, chief economist at analysts Japan Macro Advisors in Tokyo, told BBC News that the results show there are limitations to prime minister Shinzo Abe's economics plan, which has been dubbed Abenomics.

He said: "Only when there is a real change in the competitiveness of the Japanese companies, and a positive change in the long term economic outlook will there be a real change in Japan's growth performance."

Despite the disappointing figures for Japanese economic growth, the Nikkei bounced back from touching a one-and-a-half week low by recording a 0.56 per cent expansion during trading today.

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