TOKYO, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Japan, citing devastation from the March earthquake and tsunami, cut its growth forecast for this fiscal year to 0.5 percent from its earlier 1.5 percent.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated the country's northeast region, killing and injuring thousands, dealing a heavy blow to Japan's tenuous economic recovery, crippling the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and setting off a radiation-emitting nuclear crisis that has yet to be fully contained. The current global economic and financial turmoil also are adding to the pressures on the economy.
While announcing the downward revision for this year ending next March, the Cabinet Office gave an optimistic estimate for next fiscal year, saying the gross domestic product in fiscal 2012 is expected to grow more than 2.5 percent as domestic demand rises with post-quake reconstruction picking up, Kyodo News reported.
The GDP grew 2.3 percent last year.
Private consumption, which accounts for about 60 percent of the GDP, was forecast to grow only 0.2 percent this year, revised from the previous estimate of 0.6 percent.