Analysts believe Japan's GDP grew in Q1

Private researchers believe Japan's economy expanded for the second quarter in a row in the January-to-March period.

They expect to see slight or moderate GDP growth when preliminary figures come out on Wednesday.

Twelve think-tanks gave economic growth estimates ranging from 0.2 percent to 1.7 percent annualized in the three-month period. The figures are inflation-adjusted.

The analysts believe private consumption increased. They see a recovery in service-related spending like travel and dining, as well as strong sales of new cars. Private spending accounts for more than half of Japan's GDP.

Meanwhile, the analysts agree that exports plunged during the period. They blame weak demand for autos and electronic parts amid economic slowdowns in China, the US and Europe.

Bucking the trend is an expected rise in demand from foreign tourists. Their spending is included in exports.

Many of the analysts also expect a decline in corporate investment in facilities and equipment.

These factors taken together are behind a majority opinion that overall GDP expansion in the quarter was slight.