May 21, 2019 / 12:30 AM / a month ago

Japan Finance Minister Aso: First-quarter GDP not bad, economic fundamentals remain solid

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance Ministry in Paris, France, May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday that gross domestic product growth in the first quarter was not bad and that the country’s economic fundamentals remained solid.

Speaking to reporters, Aso said corporate earnings remained at a high level and the labor market was still strong.

Aso also said that a slowdown in China’s economy caused a decline in Japan’s exports, and that there may be signs some Japanese manufacturers are delaying capital expenditure.

On Monday, data showed Japan’s economy unexpectedly expanded in the first quarter, confounding expectations that GDP would contract.

Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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