Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech to demand the return of the Northern Territories, a group of islands held by Russia, at a national rally in Tokyo on February 7, 2019. – Called the Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan, the string of volcanic islands are at the heart of a feud between the two countries has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a formal World War II peace treaty. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

Japan said on Friday its economy had slowed in the April-to-June quarter amid escalating trade tensions between China and the United States.

The economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.8 per cent for the third straight quarter of growth, slowing from the 2.8-per-cent expansion in the first three-month period, the Cabinet Office said in a statement.

The reading beat the 0.4-per-cent growth forecast by analysts polled by the Nikkei Business Daily.

The country’s 10-day holiday during the imperial succession in May helped boost consumption, analysts said.

Private consumption rose 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter, compared with a 0.1-per-cent increase in the January-to-March period,

Corporate investment climbed 1.5 per cent, following a 0.4-per-cent rise in the previous quarter.

The office also reported exports edged down 0.1 per cent in the April-to-June period, compared with a 2-per-cent contraction in the first quarter of this year.

Imports grew 1.6 per cent in the second quarter after shrinking 4.3 per cent in the previous period.

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