TOKYO – Japan economy grew at a real annualized rate of 1.5 percent in the October-December quarter, slower than earlier reported but still reaffirming an end to recession, the government said Monday.
The world's third-largest economy is still recovering from the blow to demand from a sales tax hike on April 1, 2014, and a plunge after a surge in purchases meant to beat that increase.
The revision puts growth for the year at exactly 0.0 percent, compared with 1.6 percent in 2013 and 1.8 percent in 2012.
The government earlier reported that the economy grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the final quarter of 2014 after contracting 6.4 percent in April-June and 2.6 percent in July-September.
The revision reflected lower private demand and flat-lining corporate and residential investment. It also showed a slight drop in incomes.
The central bank is spending trillions of yen (tens of billions of dollars) a month on asset purchases, seeking to spur inflation and end once and for all chronic deflation that it says is slowing growth.
But falling oil prices and relatively weak domestic demand have slowed progress toward its goal of a 2 percent inflation rate.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made such extreme monetary easing the linchpin of his "Abenomics" strategy meant to revive the economy, along with strong government spending and sweeping reforms.
Progress in those areas has also been modest, with government spending rising 0.1 percent in the last quarter from the year before.