Japan's GDP shrank annualized 2% in Jan.-Mar. quarter

Japan's latest GDP figures show the nation's economy shrank for the first time in two quarters in the January-to-March period, weighed down by sluggish consumer spending.

The Cabinet Office released preliminary data for the first quarter of this year on Thursday. It shows Gross Domestic Product decreased by an annualized 2 percent in real terms in the three months compared with the previous quarter.

Personal consumption, which accounts for more than half of Japan's GDP, fell 0.7 percent.

Disruptions in Japan's auto industry dragged down the overall figure. Some carmakers suspended production and shipments after failing to meet government safety standards.