Japan economy's return to growth weaker than thought

Japan's economy stuttered last year after an April sales tax rise cut off the flow of consumer spendingJapan’s economy grew less than initially thought in the final quarter of 2014, revised government data showed Monday, revealing an even weaker emergence from recession than previously believed. The poor data could put the Bank of Japan under pressure to launch more stimulus, economists said, as the world’s third largest economy struggles to rid itself of two decades of lassitude. The Cabinet Office said the economy expanded just 0.4 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, down from an initial estimate of 0.6 percent growth, with corporate capital investment shrinking. Despite the downgrade, the data still confirmed the Japanese economy had crawled out of recession at the end of 2014, after two consecutive quarters in which gross domestic product (GDP) contracted.

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