Japanese economic growth smashed expectations in the March quarter

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%.

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.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.