Japan Says 'Sayonara' to Downturn

By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2009 4:15 AM CDT
A man checks Japanese vehicles parked before being loaded onto a cargo ship at an export port in Yokohama near Tokyo, Japan.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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(Newser) – Japan appears to be pulling out of its recession, posting its first economic growth in more than a year, reports the New York Times. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 0.9% in the last three months ending June 30—equivalent to 3.7% annualized growth. Exports grew 6.3% from the previous quarter.

Japan's recession was its worst since World War II, with exports dropping to half of their normal levels. In the first quarter, Japan's economy dropped a historic 14.2%, in annualized terms. The turnaround follows improvements in other struggling economies. France and Germany posted unexpected growth, while the US appears to have leveled out. China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea have also rebounded somewhat.