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Dec 7, 7:27 PM EST

Japan reports economy grew 2.5 pct year-on-year in July-Sept


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TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual pace in July-September, faster than the earlier estimate of 1.4 percent growth, the government reported Friday.

The revision issued Friday reflects higher than expected business investment and rising inventories. In quarterly terms the world's third-largest economy expanded at a 0.6 percent pace, twice the original estimate, the report said.

Private demand rose 0.3 percent from the previous quarter; the earlier estimate had it flat.

A revival in demand across the region and in other major markets has helped breathe new life into Japan's recovery, however, the estimate for the impact of net exports was unchanged in this latest report, at 0.6 percent.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was expected later in the day to outline plans for longer-term efforts to support growth and productivity as the nation ages and its population declines.

The economy is in its longest expansion in years, with unemployment below 3 percent, but growth remains meager and inflation is still well below the 2 percent official target. Economists say that wages are rising too slowly to ignite faster price increases, and Abe and other officials have urged companies to use huge cash piles that have accumulated over the past few years to help spur growth through investment and wage hikes.

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