TOKYO -- Japan's real gross domestic product slipped 0.6% on the month in December as exports to the U.S. and elsewhere took a hit, data released Thursday by the Japan Center for Economic Research shows.
Exports dropped 2.4% overall, while those to the U.S. -- a major trading partner -- plunged 5.4%. Limp foreign demand depressed growth by 0.8 percentage point.
Imports grew by 2.2%, and individual consumption inched up 0.2% owing to strength in areas such as new-car sales. Domestic demand lifted the overall growth rate by 0.2 point, not enough to offset the decline in external demand.