Japanese economic growth smashed expectations in the March quarter

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Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Japan, the worlds third-largest economy, has beaten growth expectations for the first quarter of 2015.

According to data released by Japan’s Cabinet Office Wednesday the economy grew by 0.6% in seasonally adjusted terms in the three months to March. Analysts had been expecting an increase of 0.4%, the same level reported for the final quarter of 2014.

With the quarterly reading beating forecasts, the annualised growth rate came in at 2.4%, smashing expectations for an increase of 1.5%.

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Private consumption, around 60% of the Japanese economy, expanded by 0.4%, matching the growth rate recorded in the Q4 2014. Capital expenditure grew for the first time in a year, rising 0.4%, although the figure missed expectations for an increase of 0.8%.

Elsewhere public spending slipped 0.2%, reversing a similar gain in the December quarter, while external demand, international trade contribution to growth, fell by 0.2% as strength in imports overshadowed an improvement in exports.