It's looking as if Japan's recent recession has officially ended, according to the latest headlines reporting gross domestic product (GDP) growth. After two straight quarters of economic contraction, Japan's 2014 Q4 saw 2.2 percent annualized growth. While the news sounds positive, the numbers are disappointing to analysts that were expecting growth closer to 3.7 percent - a rather large difference.
After the data's release, Japanese Economic Minister Akira Amari told reporters that the economy was on track for a recovery with signs consumer sentiment is picking up.
But analysts pointed to the weak rebound in consumption and capital expenditure as worrying signs to the outlook.
"These are somewhat disappointing figures," said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute. "The situation remains weak and companies are clearly postponing investments."
Reuters goes on to report that this rebound from recession will allow the Bank of Japan (BoJ) to hold off on expanding monetary stimulus for now even as slumping oil prices push inflation further away from its 2 percent target.
"The BoJ is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged for a while to see the impact from the latest easing," said Taro Saito, director of economic research at NLI Research Institute.
Today's data release will be one of the key factors that the BoJ will be considering at the two-day rate review ending on Wednesday. It is widely set to maintain the current pace of asset purchases in its quantitative easing (monetary stimulus) program.