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Japan economy shrank more than initial report
Japanese economy shrank more than initially reported April-June quarter
By The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) ' Japan's economy contracted the April-June quarter at an annual rate of 2.1 percent ' worse than the government's initial estimate.

The Cabinet Office numbers give a more dismal view than the earlier report that had said Japan's gross domestic product, or the measure of a nation's goods and services, contracted at an annual rate of 1.3 percent.

Japan's economy has been battered by the March 11 tsunami and earthquake, which has left 20,000 people missing or dead, disrupted supply chains among the small-business suppliers in the northeast and forced companies to cut back on power usage because of a nuclear power plant that went into meltdown.

The disaster came when Japan's economy had been stagnating for more than a decade, its public debt ballooning, and the nation had been struggling to find a turnaround.

Exports, corporate investment and consumer spending have all been falling in recent months.

Even as companies restore production, a surging yen, which has recently tested record highs against the dollar, is a major problem for Japan's exporters. It reduces the value of their foreign earnings and makes Japanese goods more expensive in overseas markets.

Japan lost its place as the world's No. 2 economy to China last year. It has faced a slew of problems including years of deflation and a rapidly aging and shrinking population.

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