Three private economic research institutes revised upward their forecasts of Japan’s economic growth for fiscal 2004 due to a strong recovery in the corporate sector.

Financial & Economic Research Center of Nomura Securities Co., NLI Research Institute and Daiwa Institute of Research revised their forecasts after the release Friday of gross domestic product data for the April-June quarter.

The government announced that GDP grew only 0.4 percent in real terms in the three-month period from the previous quarter, or an annualized 1.7 percent. But the three institutions expect stronger growth in the July-September quarter, based on projected increases in corporate spending.

Fiscal 2004 GDP growth in real terms is now projected at 3.6 percent by Nomura, up from 3.4 percent, 3.5 percent by Daiwa, up from 3.3 percent, and 3.3 percent by NLI, up from 3.0 percent.

The upward revisions are in line with the government’s latest official outlook of 3.5 percent growth for the current fiscal year. It had earlier projected 1.8 percent growth in real terms.

For fiscal 2005, the trio forecast slower economic growth in Japan, ranging from 1.0 to 2.0 percent in real terms, due to the possible slowdown in U.S. and Chinese economic growth and the peaking of a digital consumer electronics boom.

Nomura and Daiwa projected, however, the economy will pick up beginning in fiscal 2006, with companies expected to complete their structural reforms and overcome asset deflation.

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