Japan's GDP grows for first time in 3 quarters

The latest GDP figures for Japan show consumers spending again after a further easing of COVID regulations.

The Cabinet Office says the economy grew by an annualized 1.6 percent in real terms in the January to March period.

That is the first time in three quarters it has been in positive territory.

Consumer spending accounts for more than half of Japan's GDP. It was up 0.6 percent from the previous quarter. Spending increased in the service sector, including travel and dining, and sales of new cars were strong.

But exports took a hit, sliding more than 4 percent.