Japan’s economy, the third largest in the world, expanded at its quickest pace in a year, showing signs of an economic recovery.
Gross domestic product grew 0.9% in the three months to March compared to the previous quarter, indicating an annualised rate of 3.5%.
Japan grew at a rate of 1% at the end of 2012 as it emerged from a recession.
Analysts said it was a good report card for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive stimulus measures.
“The Japanese economy is on the right track to recovery,” said Hideki Matsumura, from the Japan Research Institute.
He cited a jump in individual spending on the back of a rally in Japanese stocks, as well as recovering exports, as the main reasons.
“The economy is expected to grow further for now thanks to the impact of Abenomics,” Mr Matsumura added, referring to the name given to Mr Abe’s attempt to stimulate Japan’s stagnant economy with big government spending and aggressive central bank monetary easing.