Japanese growth surge as business beats tax hike

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Japanese growth surge as business beats tax hike

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Japan has seen a strong showing in business investment prompting the government to revise growth figures up.

The numbers, which cover January to March, show Japanese consumers and businesses spent more ahead of the sales tax hike that came into force in April.

Authorities raised the sales or consumer tax from 5 percent to 8 percent.

It is expected that spending will slow as the hike begins to bite.

As an indication retail sales in the country fell by 4.4 percent in April as a direct result of the rise.

Tokyo slapped the three percent increase on consumers in an attempt to bring public debt under control.

Japan has the highest public debt in the industrialised world.

Over the last 20 years Japan has been struggling with deflation, which has hit domestic consumption as potential buyers held off from making purchases in the hope of a cheaper deal down the road.