Japan Q4 GDP revised to flat q/q, vs -0.1 pct preliminary

TOKYO, March 8 Thu Mar 7, 2013 6:58pm EST

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TOKYO, March 8 (Reuters) - Japanese gross domestic product was flat in October-December from the previous quarter, government data showed on Friday, revised up slightly from a preliminary estimate, suggesting that the economy is slowly crawling out of a mild recession.

The reading compared with a median forecast of economists for 0.1 percent quarter-on-quarter growth, and an initial estimate of a 0.1 percent contraction, due to an upward revision to private capital spending, the revised Cabinet Office data showed.

That translated into annualised growth of 0.2 percent in price-adjusted real terms, matching an average forecast of economists and compared with an initial reading of a 0.4 percent contraction, the data showed.

Japan's fourth-quarter growth figures compared with an annualised 0.1 percent expansion in the United States in the same period, and a 2.3 percent annualised contraction in the 17-country euro zone.

Economists expect the Japanese economy, the world's third largest, will grow moderately this year on the back of a global economic recovery and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's expansionary policy mix of monetary and fiscal stimulus.