Japan’s economy probably grew for the 4th straight quarter on higher consumer spending and reconstruction demand from Private-sector research firms are predicting annualized growth of between 0.8% to 3.7% for the first quarter, compared to the previous 3 months. The actual figure is due out in a week, according to (NHK World) website. The research firms say auto sales rose thanks to government subsidies for eco-friendly vehicles, and that contributed to the expansion. They also point to robust public investments in the quake-hit region as a factor. Still, the estimates indicate a slowdown compared with an annualized growth rate of more than 4% for the January-to-March period. Many analysts are forecasting a further slowdown on the possibility eco-car subsidies will be terminated later this summer. The sluggish global economy may also weigh down on Japanese exports.