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Economy

Japan GDP up 2.9% in February before coronavirus: JCER

Sharp drop in imports translates into growth boost

An industrial port in Tokyo: Japan's imports fell sharply in February.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's gross domestic product grew 2.9% in February from the previous month, owing mostly to technical factors, according to estimates published Wednesday by the Japan Center for Economic Research.

The inflation-adjusted gain was the first in two months. A steep 9.3% drop in imports coupled with a rise in exports created a wide trade surplus that lifted GDP. Domestic demand remained low.

Business investment and consumer spending increased.

The estimates reflect the state of the economy prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Japan had reported fewer than 250 cases of coronavirus infection as of the end of February.

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