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Japan's economy stalls on weak China exports, analysts say

Consumer and capital spending also seen to slip in first quarter

Japanese consumer spending dipped in the first quarter, contributing to economic growth nearly coming to a standstill, economists say.

TOKYO -- A sharp drop in exports to China reduced Japan's economic growth to a crawl in the January-March period, a survey of private-sector economists suggests.

Real gross domestic product likely grew just 0.003% from the previous quarter on an annualized basis, based on the average response from 15 economists. Exports are estimated to have declined by 1.5% and capital spending by 1.8%. Private consumption, which had propped up the economy in the past, also fell.

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