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Japan reports economic growth

TOKYO, March 8 (UPI) — Japan reports economy up 0.2 percent

TOKYO, March 8 (UPI) — Japan’s economy grew at an annual 0.2 percent rate in the October-December quarter, technically ending its recession, revised figures announced Friday showed.

The Cabinet Office’s announcement revised an earlier report that showed the economy had actually contracted 0.4 percent, leaving it in mild recession. The new numbers were the result of an upward revision of corporate capital spending.

The new figures were a would be welcome to the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which has made it a priority to pull the country out of chronic deflation and kick-start the world’s third largest economy through various stimulus measures.

The revision raised hopes the export-driven economy would continue to grow in the current quarter. The stimulus measures have already helped stem the yen’s appreciation against the U.S. dollar. A lower yen makes Japanese goods cheaper.

CNN Money reported the upward revision did not come as a surprise because economic indicators had been showing stronger growth lately.

On Thursday, Japan’s central bank, the Bank of Japan, announced no change either in its monetary policy or in the short-term interest rate of zero to 0.1 percent.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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