Japan economy remains in gradual recovery: government spokesman

A man walks past an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries, outside a brokerage in Tokyo. A Japanese government spokesman said on Monday there is no change in the government's view that the economy is continuing to rec
A man walks past an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries, outside a brokerage in Tokyo. A Japanese government spokesman said on Monday there is no change in the government's view that the economy is continuing to recover gradually. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

TOKYO (REUTERS) - A Japanese government spokesman said on Monday there is no change in the government's view that the economy is continuing to recover gradually.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko also told a news conference the government will closely monitor private firms' capital spending, which is important for a virtuous economic cycle.

Data showed earlier in the day that Japan's economy shrank more than initially reported in the third quarter on declines in business investment, surprising markets and backing premier Shinzo Abe's recent decision to delay a second sales tax hike.