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The Wall Street Journal: Japan’s economy unexpectedly flat in second quarter

TOKYO — Japan’s economy grew unexpectedly slowly in the second quarter as companies cut back on capital spending and exports fell, highlighting weakness in the world’s third-largest economy, despite massive government stimulus and central bank easing.

Japan’s economy expanded an annualized 0.2% in the April-June quarter, compared with a 0.7% expansion forecast by 20 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The increase came after a 2.0% expansion in the first three months of the year.

The nearly flat growth showed that over three years after taking office pledging to end decades of sluggish growth, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has struggled to engender a sustained recovery.

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