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Global Economic Calendar

Japan and U.K. Economies Fall Into Recession

The economies of Japan and the United Kingdom (U.K.) each fell into a recession at the end of last year, according to new statistical information.

Japan’s government has reported two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) falling 0.4% on an annualized basis in the fourth quarter of 2023. That follows a 3.3% contraction in the third quarter of last year.

Japan’s Q4 GDP badly missed economists’ forecasts for growth of 1.4%. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

In entering a recession, Japan also lost its ranking as the world’s third-largest economy to Germany.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., the Office for National Statistics said that GDP shrank by 0.3% in the final three months of 2023 for a second consecutive quarterly decline, placing that country into an economic recession as well.

All three major sectors of the British economy contracted in Q4 2023, with declines of 0.2% in services, 1% in production, and 1.3% in construction.

The Q4 economic decline of 0.3% in the U.K. was worse than the 0.1% contraction expected among economists who were polled by the Reuters news agency.

In a statement, British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said that high inflation remains “the single biggest barrier to growth.”