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Japan’s economy contracts as energy prices soar

By YURI KAGEYAMA
AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s economy contracted at a worse than expected annual rate of 1% in the last quarter, as rising prices and COVID-19 restrictions sapped spending and investment. The Cabinet Office said Wednesday that Japan’s real gross domestic product, or GDP, fell 0.2% in January-March compared to the previous quarter. Russia’s war in Ukraine has pushed already high energy prices still higher, a big minus for resource-poor Japan. The Japanese yen has weakened, trading at about 130 yen to the dollar, making imports relatively more expensive. Analysts expect the economy to bounce back in the current quarter as COVID-19 precautions are loosened further.  

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