Japan's Jan-March GDP revised upward

Revised figures from the Japanese government suggest the economy didn't do as badly in the final quarter of the fiscal year as previously thought.

The Cabinet Office now says the GDP fell at an annualized rate of minus 2.2 percent in real terms during the January-March period. That's not as bad as the preliminary figure of minus 3.4 percent announced in May.

The biggest contributor to the stronger number was corporate capital investment. The new figure shows a rise of 1.9 percent from the previous quarter. That's well up from minus 0.5 percent announced earlier.

For one thing, companies spent more on production of medical equipment in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Personal consumption accounts for more than half of Japan's GDP. But that figure didn't change much ... from minus 0.7 percent to minus 0.8 percent.

Still, the GDP contraction for the quarter was the second in a row ... putting Japan into a technical recession.

Analysts expect the number to be negative again in the April to June quarter because of the coronavirus.

Some private institutes even project the economic hit from the recent state of emergency could be worse than after the global financial crisis of 2008.