By and  on February 19, 2014

TOKYO — Japan’s economic growth appears to be losing momentumas a consumption tax hike looms and a weak yen ushers in price increasesfor luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Hermès.

The country’sgross domestic product grew 0.3 percent in the October-to-Decemberperiod from the previous quarter and 1 percent on an annualized basis,Japan’s cabinet office said. Those figures are below market expectationsand raise questions about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to restoresustainable growth to the world’s third-biggest economy.

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