Research Team at Wells Fargo, notes that the Japanese real GDP contracted at a 1.4 percent annualized rate in Japan during the final quarter of 2015. Key Quotes “Financial markets were braced for a decline, but the actual outturn was even worse than expected. A steep decline in consumer spending subtracted 1.9 percentage point drag from headline growth. Business spending barely budged. Inventories grew, but did so at a slightly slower pace which resulted in a half a percentage point drag on headline growth. The annualized rate of government spending at 2.1 percent was the fastest since 2013. Without that boost, the headline figure would have been even more negative. Net exports boosted the headline figure, but only because imports fell at an even-faster rate than exports. On a sequential basis, real GDP growth has now been negative five times in the past nine periods. This raises doubts about the efficacy of the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) ¥80 trillion a year expansion of its monetary base. These numbers reflect fourth quarter figures so they do not yet capture the influence of the BoJ’s new negative interest rate program which it introduced at the end of January.” For more information, read our latest forex news.