Japan's economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter due to strong exports, posting the longest period of uninterrupted growth in more than a decade. David Pollard reports.
Seven consecutive quarters of growth .... Hopes rise that Japan may finally be pulling itself out of decades of stagnation. As external demand picks up. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPAN'S CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY, YOSHIHIDE SUGA, SAYING: "Japan's gross domestic product has reached 546 trillion yen, the highest level in history. The result shows that Japan's economy is recovering moderately." Strong shipments of cars and electronics to the US and Asia are one marker of improvement. Capital expenditure was also up for a fourth straight quarter ... With growth at 0.3 percent in Q3, 1.4 per cent on the year, Japan's luck may be about to change, say economists. If at a high cost. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DARREN SINDEN, MARKET ANALYST, PEPPERSTONE, SAYING: "We need to bear in mind you know the background and also the fact that it's taken for the Bank of Japan and the government of Japan to actually achieve it. Trillions of yen spent on QE, a debt to GDP ratio nudging 250 percent. Still they can't get the yen back to 120. And there are social and structural issues. " And one traditional flat spot, consumer spending, was down half a per cent - officials say bad weather might be to blame. A new government package of economic measures is scheduled for next month. While little if no change is expected from the central bank. Japan's days of massive economic stimulus far from over ... Despite its longest spell of uninterrupted growth in over a decade.