Japan GDP Expanded in Q1

Japan’s economic growth unexpectedly accelerated in January- March, driven by net contributions from exports. The economy grew at an annualized 2.1% in the first quarter, gross domestic product (GDP) data showed on Monday, beating market expectations for a contraction. It followed a revised 1.6% expansion in October-December.

The surprise expansion was contributed by exports sliding slower than imports, likely reflecting weak domestic demand, a point of concern for policymakers with a planned sales tax hike scheduled to take effect in October.

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