Yoshiki Shinke, at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, says the Japanese economy likely contracted last quarter

Shinke is the only economist to make the Japan Center for Economic Research's top-five list of forecasters for the past six years

"There is no doubt Japan's economy is in a soft patch ... The question isn't whether the economy contracted but how deep the contraction was."

  • Says the economy may have shrank as much as an annualized 2.5%
  • The median estimate of 25 economists surveyed July 9-22 by Bloomberg is for 0.8% growth