Japanese economy contracted for the first time in nine quarters

Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images Koichi Kamoshida  Getty Images

Experts have predicted Japan's economic growth will be weaker this year than in 2017.

With an excess of 1.58 jobs per person in Japan, falling wages - which decreased by 0.15% in the 12 months leading to February - is the cause of this decline.

"But we need to be mindful of the impact of overseas economic uncertainty and market volatility", he added.

Private residential investment also plunged another 2.1 percent after a 2.7 percent fall in the previous quarter.

The Japanese economy contracted for the first time in two years in the first quarter of 2018. However, there are concerns that trade friction with the U.S. could affect demand for exports.

Economists don't expect the period of contraction to last long. "However, it is clear that in the long term the pace of growth is slowing".

The limp first-quarter performance was spread across different areas of the economy, according to Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at research firm Capital Economics. The median estimate was for a 0.4 percent increase.

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The economy was dragged down by sluggish private consumption and capital expenditure.

Consumer spending fell marginally, registering a decline of less than one percentage point in the first quarter.

"There are worries about some emerging economy markets but the global economy as a whole is likely to continue its recovery for some more time".

Maruyama of SMBC Nikko Securities.

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the world's third-largest economy has picked up steam through a deflation-fighting stimulus program driven mainly by asset purchases by the central bank that are injecting billions of dollars into the economy each year.

"The revised GDP data 2017 showed the economy had already started to slow down from the beginning of previous year".

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