Business spending gives Japan a growth boost

Japan's economy is growing faster than initially thought.

Over the April-to-June quarter it expanded at an annual rate of 1.9%.

That's ahead of forecasts, and way up on the initial reading of 1.3%.

Growth was helped by strong business spending.

A brisk global recovery spurred factory output, and prompted firms to invest more in equipment and other capital.

Private consumption, which accounts for more than half of GDP, was also revised higher.

Now eyes turn to what Japan's next prime minister might have planned.

Incumbent Yoshihide Suga said last Friday (September 3) that he was stepping down.

A ruling-party leadership race is now under way, with contenders due to set out economic revival plans.

Japanese growth faces some strong headwinds.

Worries over the health crisis refuse to go away.

There is concern too over a possible Chinese slowdown, and what that might mean for Japan.

Meanwhile, carmakers continue to battle a global shortage of computer chips.

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