GDP grows 2.2 percent
Japan's economy grew for the seventh straight quarter, expanding at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the quarter from July through September, signaling a recovery driven by strong exports and private sector investments. Cabinet Office data released yesterday for GDP -- the value of a nation's goods and services -- showed the economy grew 0.6 percent in the three months, better than the 0.4 percent rise on average in private forecasts in a survey by Dow Jones Newswires. "It confirms our scenario for economic recovery," Japan's economy and banking minister Heizo Takenaka told reporters. Business investment jumped 2.8 percent in the quarter. Exports were strong, especially in machinery and electronic devices, climbing 2.8 percent.
New machine out next year
Nintendo Co, the world's biggest maker of hand-held game players, said a game machine it will debut next year will be a new type of product rather than an enhancement of its existing players. The new machine is "not a next-generation GameCube console or GameBoy Advance" hand-held player, Yasuhiro Minagawa, a spokesman for the Kyoto-based company said in a telephone interview. "It belongs to a completely new category," he added, without disclosing details. Nintendo is betting the new machine, coupled with recent price cuts on its GameCube console, will help it win a bigger share of the US$8 billion annual market for video games, where it has been losing ground to Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp. The company, which once dominated the video-game industry, on Thursday reported its first loss since going public in 1962.
Amazon opens jewelry store
Amazon Inc, the world's biggest Internet retailer, opened a jewelry and watch shop in its online marketplace, the third new shop in two months, to sell its own merchandise as well as inventory from other retailers. The newest addition to Seattle-based Amazon's Web site offers silver key holders, bracelets and pearl earrings from the company. Kroger Co's Fred Meyer Jewelers, Mondera.com and Timex Watches Ltd are also selling merchandise through the shop. Amazon.com is betting it can sell new kinds of merchandise to millions of customers by opening new shops to expand product selection in preparation for the holiday sales season. The company opened a sporting goods shop in September and a gourmet food store last month.