SAPPORO (Kyodo) Deputy Bank of Japan Gov. Kazumasa Iwata voiced optimism Wednesday over the economy, saying it is heading toward a “maturation period” following a sharp rise in production.

Iwata brushed off recent weak Japanese economic data, including gross domestic product data for the April-June period, in a speech at a Sapporo hotel, saying, “We see a slowdown in some parts of IT industries, but it does not suggest the entire economy has stalled or begun to decline.”

Japan’s economy grew 0.3 percent in real terms in the three-month period from the previous quarter, or an annualized 1.3 percent.

The annualized rate compares with a 6.6 percent rise marked in the January-March quarter.

“The first-quarter figure was too strong. I think it is better to see the average of the first and second quarters when we try to grasp the basic economic conditions,” he said.

Iwata said information technology industries in Japan have recently begun adjusting their inventories of electronic parts, but it does not necessarily indicate a negative outlook for the economy.

“I expect that demand for digital home appliances such as flat-panel TVs and DVDs will continue to grow and that adjustments will end shortly as electronic device inventory levels remain at about 60 percent of those in 2001,” when the IT bubble burst.

Although surging crude oil prices pose a risk to the Japanese economy, Iwata said their adverse effects are limited because Japan consumes less oil for economic production compared with the United States and China.

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