TOKYO -- Japan's real gross domestic product retreated 0.5% in July compared with the previous month as rising imports led to negative external demand, the Japan Center for Economic Research reported Wednesday.
The GDP decline was the first in two months. The increase in imports outweighed gains in exports, dragging down Japan's growth by 0.9 percentage point.
Domestic private-sector demand, however, lifted economic growth 0.3 point. Though individual consumption fell in July, that downturn was offset by gains in capital spending and housing investments, among other factors.