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Japan economy grew at an annual 3.1% pace in the first quarter

$11.7 billion
Japan's current account surplus in April'06

$13.0 billion
China's trade surplus in May'06

Japan's economy grew at an annual 3.1 percent pace in the first quarter, as the corporate spending picked up. US economy grew at 5.3% in the first quarter. The gross domestic product numbers released by the Cabinet Office in Tokyo, was revised from an initial 1.9% estimate made in May.

Investment spending climbed 3.1% while consumer spending rose 0.5% in the first quarter. Capital spending soared 13.9% in the first quarter from 2005, the second-biggest increase since 1990. The economy is in its second-longest growth cycle of the postwar era, outlasting the 51-month "bubble" boom from December 1986 to February 1991. Japan's economic expansion will become the longest since World War II if it continues through November, surpassing the so-called Izanagi boom of 1965-1970, a 57-month period of growth named after a Japanese god (Bloomberg report).

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