November 15, 2017 9:38 am JST

Japan's GDP growth hits 1.4% on July-Sept performance

iPhone X delays mean less imports while foreign visitors provide bump

YASUMI FUNATSU, Nikkei staff writer

TOKYO -- Japan's real gross domestic product for the July-September quarter rose 0.3% over the previous quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, backed by increased net exports, according to preliminary numbers released by the Cabinet Office on Wednesday.

The figure translates into annualized growth of 1.4%, which is close to the forecasts of 1.5%, as compiled by QUICK.

Imports of goods and services fell 1.6% from the previous quarter, due in part to shipment delays of the iPhone X, which affected smartphone imports from China and other countries. 

The latest figures show Japan's economy expanding for the seventh consecutive quarter -- the longest continuous growth in 16 years.

GDP grew for eight consecutive quarters ending in January-March 2001.

According to the Cabinet Office, while imports declined, exports of goods and services increased 1.5%.

Thanks to a steadily growing global economy, exports of electronic devices and semiconductor manufacturing equipment to Asia rose, as did exports of vehicles and capital goods to the U.S., an official said.

Spending by inbound tourists, which is tallied as an export, also contributed to growth. Japan welcomed about 7.4 million visitors during the three months.

Private non-residential investment climbed 0.2%, marking the fourth straight quarter of positive growth. The demand in capital spending was buoyed by improved company earnings and business confidence.

Meanwhile, overall domestic demand decreased 0.2% for the quarter. Private consumption dropped 0.5% while public demand fell 0.6%, due to unusual summer weather, which hurt spending on food and travel, the Cabinet Office said.

In nominal terms, GDP for July-September rose 0.6% from the previous quarter, equal to an annualized growth of 2.5%.

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