Japan's economy grew slower than initially estimated in the October-December period due to weaker-than-expected corporate capital spending, as private consumption remained slow to recover, the government said Monday.
Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at an annual 1.5 percent pace in the final quarter of 2014, a downgrade from the preliminary figure of 2.2 percent released last month, according to the Cabinet Office.
But GDP marked the first expansion in three quarters, confirming that Japan emerged from recession. On a quarterly basis, the world's third-biggest economy's GDP grew 0.4 percent in the three months ended December 31 from the previous quarter, compared with the preliminary estimate of a 0.6 percent rise.
Business investment, a key pillar of domestic demand, declined 0.1 percent from the previous quarter, compared with a 0.1 percent expansion in the preliminary reading, for the third straight quarter of decline.
Personal consumption, which accounts for about 60 percent of Japan's GDP, was upgraded to 0.5 percent growth from a 0.3 percent rise in the initial report, but still slow to recover, following the sales tax hike in April last year from 5 percent to 8 percent.
"A downward revision was mainly due to lower private inventories. Japan's economy is still on a recovery track as a whole," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference after the Cabinet released revised GDP data. For full 2014, the country's economy fell 0.03 percent for the first contraction in three years, compared with 0.04 percent growth reported in the preliminary data.