Japan's Cabinet Office says the GDP figures for the three months between January and March were up by 0.4% in real terms from the previous quarter. This works out to be an annualized growth of 1.7% the first such positive growth in 2 quarters, according to Japan's (NHK WORLD) radio.
Consumer spending, which accounts for over a half of the Gross National Product, grew 0.5%, thanks to an increase in spending on electric home appliances. External demand boosted GDP by 0.2%, due to growth in exports to the US and Europe. On the other hand, corporate capital investment shrank 1.4% on the back of the higher yen and uncertainty of overseas economies. Housing investment also declined 0.8%.
The Cabinet Office says the GDP figures mark a 0.8% rise for fiscal 2015 that ended in March, and the first such increase in two years, but fall below government expectations of a figure of about 1.2%.