TOKYO (Reuters) - The Japanese government has slightly lowered its economic growth forecast for the current fiscal year to March 2015 due to sluggish exports and a larger-than-expected pullback in demand after the April sales-tax hike, Cabinet Office estimates show.
The government now sees real gross domestic product growth at 1.2 per cent in fiscal 2014/15, versus 1.4 per cent in its prior forecast issued earlier this year. Growth is expected to accelerate to 1.4 per cent in the following year, according to the Cabinet Office estimates.
The estimates are broadly in line with projections made by the Bank of Japan, which last week cut its economic growth forecast for the current fiscal year.
The Cabinet Office estimates also show that overall consumer prices, including those of fresh food and energy, are seen rising 1.2 per cent year-on-year in fiscal 2014/15 and increasing 1.8 per cent in the following year. The consumer price estimates exclude the effect of the sales tax hike.