Japan managed to pull out of recession in the last quarter of last year, data out Monday morning showed, though the growth proved to be less than what many economists has suspected. The first read of Japan's gross domestic product for the October-December period indicated growth at a 2.2% annualized rate, or 0.6% on a quarterly basis, below the 0.9% consensus expectation reported in a Wall Street Journal survey. Likewise, the deflator for the quarter rose to 2.3% compared to 2.0% in July-September. The yen rose modestly after the data release, with the U.S. dollar slipping to �118.62, down from �118.72 a minute before the numbers came out. Nikkei Average futures had trimmed their gains in reaction to the report, but the cash market opened higher than indicated, with a 0.6% rise for the benchmark index.
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