The Japanese economy shrank 0.9% qoq Q1 2020, compared with market expectations of a 1.2% decline and after a revised 1.9% fall in Q4, a preliminary estimate showed. This marked the first recession in 4-1/2 years, as the COVID-19 crisis took a huge toll on consumers and businesses. Both private consumption and capital expenditure fell further, while government spending rose the least in four quarters. In addition, net external demand contributed negatively as exports dropped more than imports.