June 9, 2000

0.5% Growth Rate in Japan's Gross Domestic Product for Fiscal 1999

According to the National Income Statistics flash report for the January through March term announced today, the gross domestic product (GDP) for the term showed a growth of 2.4%. This is very encouraging news of positive for the first time in three years, although the real GDP growth rate for fiscal 1999 did not reached 0.6% which had been a goal set by the government.

However, the automobile industry feels little reassurance that the economy may be recovering although car sales began to show an increase in May. The industry still believes it is too early to conclude from today's figures that the economy has bottomed out of recession and suspends judgment while carefully monitoring sales trends for the time being.

The government should continue to take appropriately timed proper measures to consolidate the economic recovery.