Japan’s GDP nearly double that of US in first quarter

Japan’s gross domestic product grew at nearly double the U.S. rate for the first quarter, an unexpectedly strong sign of recovery in the wake of last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese government said that its GDP grew 1% in the first quarter, or an annualized rate of 4.1% for 2012. The GDP was driven by strong domestic demand, particularly by government expenditures.

“The economy accelerated despite the slowdown in the U.S. and China, indicating domestic demand likely accounted for a large share of the expansion,” wrote Marc Chandler, market strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman, in a research note.

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