Japan reports Q1 GDP growth above expectations

Japan has defied expectations to post a 1.5 per cent rise in GDP in January to March 2014, beating the forecast 1 per cent growth for the period.

According to official data from the Cabinet Office, consumer spending was up 2.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

The government announced a hike in consumption tax which came into effect on April 1 this year.

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Investors have been waiting on the outcome of prime minister Shinzo Abe’s ‘third arrow’ of ‘Abenomics’, which is structural reform.