WASHINGTON – U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow on Friday welcomed Japan’s economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2003 as a “positive surprise.”
At the same time, however, Snow urged Japan to achieve domestic demand-led economic growth without depending on exports.
“Japanese performance provided a positive surprise in the fourth quarter, with growth hitting an annual rate of 7 percent,” Snow said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.
Japan’s real gross domestic product expanded 1.7 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, showing the sharpest growth in 13 1/2 years. This translates into annualized growth of 7 percent.
But Snow said Japan’s economic recovery has been heavily dependent on export demand.