Japan’s Q1 Growth Exceeds Estimates

Japan’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, expanding an annualized 2.4 percent from the previous quarter.

That compares with a forecast of 1.5 percent on-quarter annualized from a Reuters poll of 22 analysts. In the October-December quarter, the economy expanded 1.5 percent on-quarter after contracting in both the second and third quarters of 2014.

Helping to drive the advance, private consumption, long a sticking point in the country’s attempts at an economic recovery, grew 0.4 percent from the previous quarter, compared with 0.2 percent forecast in a Reuters poll.