For your information. . I wonder if this may alleviate the speculation on the JPY becoming stronger based on speculation of the BOJ raising interest rates soon. I guess we shall see with the JPY economic data.

Japan's Growth
Probably Slackened
In First Quarter
May 13, 2006; Page A6

TOKYO -- Japan's economic growth slowed sharply during the year's first three months, as personal consumption and capital spending required a break from the previous quarter's brisk performance, economists anticipate data due in the coming week to show.

Many analysts see the downturn as temporary and expect the market to continue to expand amid strong demand for Japanese products at home and abroad. Nevertheless, the numbers could dissuade the Bank of Japan from upgrading its assessment of the market in its report, a person near the central bank stated.

The gross-domestic-product figures and also the central-bank report should be issued Friday.

GDP for the first quarter likely rose 0.2% in price-adjusted terms in the last quarter, or an annualized 1 percent, based on a typical estimate of 10 economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.

It would mark the fifth-straight quarter of growth but could be drastically reduced than quarter-to-quarter expansion of 1.3%, or an annualized 5.4% growth, for October through December.

The presumed slackening, however, isn't likely to change the government's or the market's opinion that the market remains in an uptrend.

The market continues to recover, said Naoki Iizuka, chief economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute.

Private ingestion ground to a stop largely in response to a 0.9% growth for October through December, a period when exceptionally cold weather boosted demand for winter clothing and heating equipment, economists say.

A weak GDP reading isn't very likely to discourage the Bank of Japan from raising its short-term interest-rate goal from zero as early as next month, since the central bank is convinced that the current economic advantage is to get real, the person near the central bank stated.

However, the central bank could avoid using the word growth to describe the state of the market -- language it had formerly considered using -- to avoid causing excessive market speculation about an interest-rate move, the person said.