Japanese firms raised their capital investment in new plant and equipment by 13.6% in the three months to March compared with a year earlier, up for a 16th straight quarter, a government survey showed June 4.
Spending by Japanese companies on new plant and machinery has been a key pillar in the nation's economic recovery after a slump stretching back over a decade, helping to offset subdued consumer spending.
Companies also saw a 7.4% average rise in current profits in the three months to March compared with a year earlier, a 19th straight positive quarter, according to the survey of 24,148 firms published by the finance ministry.
In its preliminary estimate, the government said the economy had grown by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year. That figure now looks set to be revised up to 0.7%, predicted Takuji Aida, chief economist for Barclays Capital in Tokyo.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007