(Bloomberg) -- The Japanese economy may have avoided a technical recession at the end of 2023 after all, as the latest capital investment data indicate an upward revision may be in store for gross domestic product, according to economists.

A jump in corporate spending in the fourth quarter prompted some economists to revise their estimates for GDP to show there was positive growth, a reversal from preliminary data that showed the economy contracted at an annualized pace of 0.4% in the final three months of last year, the second consecutive quarter of declines.

The revised data, due March 11, will incorporate capital spending figures released Monday that showed capital expenditures on goods excluding software advanced 8% in the three months through December compared with the previous period. 

The result helped boost bets that the Bank of Japan will end its negative interest rate as early as this month. Trading in overnight swaps showed a 50% chance of that happening when the policy board concludes its next meeting on the 19th, up from 31% at the end of Friday.

“We will see a positive reading in the revised data,” Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., wrote in a note on Monday. “Consumer spending remains weak, but an expansion of capital investment to offset labor shortage is clearly a positive factor for the economic outlook.”

Most economists expect the BOJ to conduct Japan’s first rate hike since 2007 by April.

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