RTTNews - The Japanese economy still posted its largest contraction since World War II - it's just not quite as bad as was originally thought.

The gross domestic product in Japan contracted by 3.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous three months, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday in its final report. That was slightly better than the record preliminary reading of -4.0 percent, at which analysts expected GDP to hold steady. GDP saw a 3.8 percent quarterly decline in Q4 of 2008.

On an annualized basis, GDP was down 14.2 percent versus expectations for a 14.9 percent decline after the -15.2 percent preliminary reading. Capex came in at -8.9 percent compared to the original 10.4 percent decline.

Imports were down 15 percent and exports sank 26 percent - both unchanged from the preliminary reading and in line with expectations.

Nominal GDP eased 2.7 percent after coming in originally at -2.9 percent, while revised consumption was unchanged at -1.1 percent. Public investment inched higher by 0.1 percent after a flat initial reading, and the revised deflator eased from 0.9 percent from 1.1 percent.

Domestic demand was -2.3 percentage points to growth, while external demand was -1.4 percentage points to growth and inventories were -0.2 percentage points to growth.

Japan, the world's second-largest economy, is in its worst recession since the end of World War II and for the first time since the final three quarters of 2001.

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