Private analysts predict Japan's GDP fell in Q1

Private sector analysts are projecting that Japan's economy shrank in the January-to-March period.

They point to weak consumer spending and exports.

A survey conducted among eleven research firms found all predicting that GDP contracted in the first quarter. The government will release the preliminary data next Thursday.

The analysts forecast annualized growth in inflation-adjusted terms ranging from minus 1 percent to minus 3.3 percent.

All but one company say the growth rate in consumer spending likely fell from the previous quarter.

Personal consumption accounts for more than half of Japan's GDP.

They point out that automobile sales were weak as some makers suspended production and shipments over irregularities in government certification procedures.

They also say consumers spent less on food amid rising prices.

All the companies also believe exports declined, due to a fall in auto shipments, despite solid consumption by inbound tourists.

The analysts also expect that capital spending fell.
They say those figures will indicate that the country's economy was stalling between January and March.