Japan – the globe’s second-largest advertising market – saw its economy remain flat in the first quarter as exports shrank, new government figures show.

GDP in the three months to March was unchanged from Q4 last year, and fell 0.6% in nominal terms (which exclude adjustment for price fluctuations). This compares with growth of 0.5% in the final quarter of 2002.

As in other major economies, Japan’s GDP was propped up by consumer spending, which accounts for around 55% of GDP. This rose 0.3%, helping to offset a 0.5% decline in exports largely caused by a slowdown in US demand.

For the financial year ending in March, however, the Japanese economy rose 1.6%, faster than government forecasts of 0.9%.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff