Japan Jan-March corporate capex up 3.3 pct – MOF

TOKYO, June 2 (Reuters) – Japanese companies raised spending on plant and equipment in January-March by 3.3 percent from the same period last year, Ministry of Finance data showed on Thursday, but the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and a nuclear crisis will likely weigh on corporate spending ahead.

The data excluded areas hit directly by the disaster.

The capital spending data will be used to calculate revised gross domestic product figures for the first quarter, due on June 9. The GDP data will assume that companies in quake-hit areas made no capital expenditures after the day of the disaster until the end of March, the Cabinet Office has said.

GDP numbers could be revised again after the finance ministry releases final capital spending data that includes companies in the quake-hit areas on July 29.

The gain fall in the capital spending follows a 3.8 percent rise the previous quarter.

Preliminary GDP data showed that Japan’s economy contracted 0.9 percent in January-March, marking a second straight quarter of contraction, after the triple blow of the March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis hit business and consumer spending and tore apart supply chains. [ID:nL4E7GJ01B] (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko)