Instant Alert: Japan economy expands at 2.2 percent annual pace in Jan-Mar

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  Japan economy expands at 2.2 percent annual pace in Jan-Mar by on May 17, 2017, 10:46 PM TOKYO (AP) — Japan reports that its economy grew at a faster-than-expected 2.2 percent annual pace in January-March.Economists had forecast a strong expansion in the first quarter, helped by a recovery in exports and consumer spending. But most estimates had not topped 2 percent.The figures released Thursday are preliminary and likely to be revised.The economy grew at a 1.2 percent pace in the last quarter of 2016.Recent data suggest a weakening of corporate spending on factory equipment that may pull growth lower in the current quarter.On a quarterly basis, the economy expanded 0.5 percent.  
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