Japan's economy contracts sharply


Japan's economy contracted sharply in the second quarter after a national sales tax in April rose 3% and triggered a sharp decline in consumer spending.

Real gross domestic product shrank 6.8% in the three months through June on an annualized basis from the prior quarter.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have to address the tax issue again soon. A sales tax increase (which will raise the rate to 10%) has been approved by the Japanese government and will take effect in October 2015.

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