Japan's economic growth slowed in the second quarter as the eurozone crisis hurt exports and domestic consumption remained subdued.
Gross domestic product grew by 0.3 percent during the period from the previous three months. That is down from 1 percent growth in the first quarter.
Compared to the same period last year, the economy expanded by 1.4 percent.
The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan last month declined 5.0 percent from a year earlier to 1,026, a credit research agency said Wednesday.
But liabilities left by the business failures more than tripled to JPY724.1 billion (USD9.21b) – the highest monthly figure so far this year – due largely to the sizable debts left behind by Sanko Steamship Co. and consumer credit firm Clavis Co., according to Tokyo Shoko Research.
Japanese wholesale prices fell 2.1 percent in the year to July, Bank of Japan data showed on Friday.
The fall compared with a median forecast of a 1.6 percent decline in a Reuters poll and followed a 1.3 percent drop in the previous month.
The economic recovery appears to be "pausing," the Japanese government said on Monday, downgrading its basic assessment of the benchmark composite index, the first such move since the economy was unsettled by the March 2011 mega-quake and tsunami.
Consumer prices in Japan fell 0.2 percent year-on-year in June, a decrease for the second consecutive month, the internal affairs ministry said on Friday. The reading for the core index, which excludes volatile food items, was slightly worse than a drop of some 0.1 percent economists had expected.
Japan's exports dipped in June, the first drop in four months, as slowdown in key markets including Europe and China, hurt demand.
Exports dipped 2.3 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 10 percent jump in the previous month.
Shipments to the European Union declined by 21.3 percent, while those to China were down by 7.3 percent.
Japan's business ties with India look set to expand further as the pace of investments by Japanese firms continues to accelerate, despite a recent slowdown of the Indian economy and the country's twin deficits, experts and people involved in bilateral relations said at recent events in Tokyo.
Growth in India's gross domestic product in the January-March period was 5.3 percent – much slower than the double-digit growth that the country achieved as recently as in 2010.
Ecommerce sales are set to rise rapidly in Japan over the next few years, but most bricks-and-mortar retailers are poorly positioned to benefit from this trend, McKinsey has argued.
The consultancy stated that internet retail revenues reached USD46 billion in 2011, and will grow by 7 percent a year to USD62 billion by 2015. A similar McKinsey study from 2010 had forecast this latter total to reach USD56 billion.
Japan's consumer confidence weakened slightly in June from the previous month, the government said on Tuesday, citing possible employment and pay concerns.
The sentiment index for households composed of two or more people fell to 40.4 last month from 40.7 in May, declining for the first time in two months, the Cabinet Office said. Readings below 50 indicate pessimists outnumber optimists.
Big Japanese manufacturers' sentiment improved in the second quarter from the previous quarter, a closely watched Bank of Japan survey showed, helped by strength in domestic demand as reconstruction from last year's massive earthquake makes headway.
The headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment was minus 1 in June, up from March and higher than the median market forecast for minus 4, the quarterly tankan survey showed on Monday.