Japan's economy gained momentum in the April-June quarter, growing at a hearty 4.0 percent annual pace fueled by stronger consumer spending and corporate capital investment.
Economists had been forecasting a relatively strong performance for the world's third-largest economy, though the actual numbers were better than expected. However, the data released Monday are preliminary and likely to be revised.
The last quarter's growth was the sixth straight quarter of expansion and the fastest since the first quarter of 2015. The economy expanded at a revised 1.5 percent annual pace in January-March.
On a quarterly basis, the economy grew at a 1.0 percent pace, up from 0.4 percent in the previous quarter.
The upbeat data are bound to be welcome news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been facing growing criticism over a lack of progress on promised structural reforms needed to underpin long term growth in a country whose population is rapidly aging and on the decline.
The uptick in growth was led by a 5.3 percent year-on-year increase in private demand. Private residential spending grew 6.0 percent and corporate spending on factories and equipment jumped 9.9 percent, the Cabinet Office reported.
The economy also was helped by a robust increase in public spending, as earlier announced stimulus measures took effect.