TOKYO -- The Japanese economy apparently grew slightly in April after contracting the month before, with internal demand picking up the slack for weak exports.
Real gross domestic product expanded 0.04% on the month in estimates released Thursday by the Japan Center for Economic Research. Domestic demand was strong in both the public and private sectors. Personal consumption rose 0.7%, thanks in part to a recovery in new-vehicle sales volume since March.
Housing investment climbed 1.7% amid a flurry of starts. Government outlays grew 0.1%.
Meanwhile, exports slid 1.6% on faltering demand from the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.