Japan''s GDP in the March quarter expanded 1.5% from the last quarter after consumer spending rose ahead of sales tax increase on April 1, the Cabinet Office said today.
The annual rate of 5.9% in the quarter was the fastest pace of growth since 2011 as Japanese companies stepped up investment and consumers loosened control on purse strings.
The growth in the economy was driven by two factors. Consumer spending increased at the fastest pace of 2.1% since 2.2% rise in the quarter ahead of tax increase in 1997.
And capital spending surged 4.9%, the most since 8.2% in the December quarter of 2011 after the triple disaster.
Economists are estimating the economy to contract at an annual rate of 2.2% in the current quarter ending in June.