The contraction, which was driven by a decline in investment and consumption and weaker exports, comes as Japan Inc worries about the possible effect of U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist policies on global trade.
Economists don't expect the period of contraction to last long.
"Manufacturers are piling up inventories of goods and the United States is leaning towards protectionism, so Japan's economy may struggle to accelerate in the second quarter onwards".
Officials at the Cabinet Office attribute this to sluggish personal spending.
All this could mean that the government will keep the fiscal spigot wide open and maintain pressure on the central bank to prolong its massive monetary stimulus, some economists say.
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The animals were provided by a facility the school says is licensed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. News 10 reported on the viral video of the caged tiger , and other animals, at Christopher Columbus High School's prom.
That marked the end of the longest sequence of growth since a 12-quarter run between April-June 1986 and January-March 1989 during the asset-inflated bubble economy.
In the first quarter exports expanded by 0.6% after 2.2% growth in the previous quarter.
The surprise quarterly decline saw the seasonally-adjusted annual rate decline to -0.6%, below the -0.2% level forecast by economists.
Analysts said they expected to see a recovery in the current quarter of 2018 and that bad weather together with a global slowdown in demand for electronics had also led to the decline in the first quarter.
As of 9:15 a.m. local time, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average dropped 47.21 points, or 0.21 percent, from Tuesday to 22,770.81. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.