For the first time in the past two years, the economy of Japan experienced contraction, with its gross domestic product declining by an annualized rate of 0.6 percent during the first quarter of 2018, according to Bloomberg. Despite the unexpected nature of this setback, government leaders and economic experts alike do not appear worried that the shortfall is a sign of any further significant declines to come in the near future. Exports, wage growth and capital expenditures are all expected to grow once figures from the second quarter emerge.
Takeshi Minami, chief economist at the Norinchukin Research Institute, simply told the news provider, "This will not be a turning point - but it is temporary."
Industrial growth projected to have occurred early during the second quarter of 2018 at a 3.1 percent rate should bolster the positive effects of exports and wage gains despite further projections that a 1.6 percent industrial decline by the end of May will follow the metric's uptick.
Reuters reported that although the language of the Japanese government was far more reserved - in keeping with its taciturn history - officials appear just as unconcerned as the nation's economists and business experts regarding the 0.6 percent drop. Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's minister of economic revitalization, explained his department's belief in gradual recovery in a statement:
"We project an economic recovery driven mainly by private consumption and capital expenditure," Motegi said. "But we need to be mindful of the impact of overseas economic uncertainty and market volatility."
The main roadblocks to continued Japanese economic success would be slowdowns within major trading partners, including China, the U.S. and the European Union, as well as the escalation of any trade disagreements stemming from the American tariffs on metals imports.