Japan’s Economy Expands as It Recovers From Coronavirus Pandemic

Economists say further gains are likely to be slow

A Tokyo shopping center in August. The Japanese economy grew 5% in the third quarter.

Photo: Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

TOKYO—The Japanese economy expanded at its fastest pace in at least 40 years in the July-September period as private consumption and exports improved along with the reopening of the global economy.

The world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China expanded 5% in the third quarter of 2020 from the previous quarter, the first growth in four quarters and the biggest expansion since 1980, the period for which comparable data are available. The result came after a record drop in the second quarter and was better than economists’...

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