• Kyodo


Real gross domestic product is expected to have grown at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent in the October to December quarter last year to mark the fifth consecutive quarterly rise, according to an average of forecasts by 10 Japanese think tanks.

Their forecasts were released before the Cabinet Office announced preliminary GDP data on Feb. 17.

While GDP growth in the third quarter slowed from the first half to an annualized rate of 1.1 percent, the think tanks said it must have recovered momentum on the back of increased demand ahead of the April consumption tax hike and public spending and corporate investment.

Nominal GDP is expected to show an annualized growth rate of 2.9 percent on average in the last quarter, their forecasts said.

Among the 10, Nomura Securities Co. came out with the most bullish forecast, of an annualized real 3.7 percent rise, boosted by an increase in auto sales and housing investment, while NLI Research Institute showed the most cautious view, with an annualized growth rate of 1.8 percent.

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