The annualized 2.1 percent growth of Japan’s economy in the January-March period belies the weakness of domestic demand that led to the steepest fall in imports in 10 years — with the sharper than anticipated drop in net imports shoring up gross domestic product for the quarter. The GDP growth for the two consecutive quarters does not warrant any optimism over the course of the economy, as other indicators point to increasing signs that it may be losing steam as uncertainties prevail concerning overseas demand with intensifying trade war between the United States and China.
The government maintains that economic conditions remain steady, citing the robust job market data and corporate earnings. But regardless of whether it changes its official assessment, the state of the economy calls for more policy steps to drive up domestic demand as the main engine of growth.
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