The Cabinet Office on Thursday held to its preliminary report on gross domestic product in the October-December period, confirming it contracted a real 1.2 percent from the previous quarter.

The annualized rate, however, was revised down to a 4.8 percent drop from a preliminary 4.5 percent decline.

It was the third consecutive quarter that the nation’s GDP has contracted.

In 2001, Japan’s GDP shrank 0.5 percent, unchanged from the preliminary data, posting the first annual drop in three years.

Real data on GDP, the total value of goods and services produced domestically, are adjusted for inflation and seasonal factors.

Personal spending, which accounts for about 60 percent of the nation’s GDP, was unchanged at a 1.9 percent rise, and corporate capital spending was also unchanged, at a 12 percent drop.

Housing investment fell 0.2 percent, unchanged from the preliminary data.

Government spending was downgraded to 0.4 percent growth from the preliminary 0.7 percent increase, while public investment fell 2 percent, unchanged from the earlier data.

GDP amounted to 523.88 trillion yen in annualized terms, down from the preliminary 524.2 trillion yen.

In nominal terms, the GDP data were revised downward to a 1.3 percent shrinkage from the earlier 1.2 percent contraction.

The economy needs to grow 1.7 percent quarter to quarter in the January-March period to achieve the government’s target of a 1 percent contraction in fiscal 2001.

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