TOKYO: Japan's Cabinet Office has revealed the country's actual GDP shrank by 14.2% in Q1 2009 which, despite bettering estimates made last month by a percentage point, still represents the largest GDP dip in the nation's post-war history.

This situation is mirrored by figures for the 2008 fiscal year as a whole, for which a forecast contraction of 3.5% materialised as an actual decline of 3.3% – which again, despite being better than expected still marked a new 60-year low.

But both revisions are being seen as evidence that Japan has passed through the worst of its economic trough, with government officials looking to Q2 2009 as the first period of growth for 15 months.

This sentiment is shared by private sector economists who are predicting a 1% upswing in GDP from April to June this year followed by 2% growth for the three months after that.

The boost is largely pinned on the anticpated benefits of a government economic stimulus package that was released in April.

Data sourced from Asahi; additional content by WARC staff