Japan's GDP fell 4% last quarter

The broadest measure of the world's second-largest economy sank at the fastest pace on record in the January to March quarter.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Photos
10 countries, 10 solutions
A financial crisis has engulfed countries from the best-off to the worst-off around the world. The solutions to the problem are varied.
What do you think about the Obama administration's new automotive fuel standards?
  • They're good
  • They're not strong enough
  • They'll hurt the economy

(CNN) -- Japan's gross domestic product (GDP) fell 4% last quarter -- the fastest pace on record for the country, the government said Wednesday.

The January-March quarter for Japan was 15.4% lower than the same time period last year, according to figures released by the Cabinet Office. By comparison, January-March GDP in the United States was 6.1% lower this year than the same time period last year.

Japanese exports fell 26% for the quarter, while imports were down 15%.

The GDP slide in the world's second-largest economy is the greatest drop among the world's leading economies.

This was the fourth straight quarter the Japanese economy contracted. Analysts say the drop reflects cuts in domestic spending with job cuts, factory closings and less capital spending as a result of spiraling sales abroad.

The news punctuates a month of poor economic news out of Japan in recent weeks. Panasonic (PC), one of the world's largest makers of electronic devices, announced it lost nearly $4 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31. Hitachi (HIT) lost $8 billion in the fiscal year, with consolidated revenues down 11% from last year, the largest loss ever recorded by a Japanese manufacturer.

NEC Corporation lost $3 billion in the past fiscal year, down nearly 11.5% from last year. Meanwhile, Nissan (NSANY) lost $2.3 billion for the year. Sony Corp. (SNE) announced net losses of $1 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, finishing a year in the red for the first time in 14 years. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
My part-time job is a dead end, but it's all I can find CNNMoney profiles 4 of America's 7 million part-time workers unable to find full-time jobs. More
Cool cars from the LA Auto Show There are some of the standout vehicles on display this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. More
American Dream homes: Prices in 10 cities How much does the American Dream home cost? From $2 million in Los Altos, Calif., to $65,000 in Cleveland, here's what you'll pay for a 4-bedroom, 2-bath house, according to Coldwell Banker's annual survey. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.