Japan raises its assessment of its economy for first time in nine months, citing increasing momentum of recovery from last year's earthquake and tsunami; construction, consumer spending, exports driving growth

TOKYO , May 18, 2012 () – Japan raised its assessment of the economy for the first time in nine months as the recovery from last year's earthquake and tsunami disaster gains momentum.

The Cabinet Office in a report Friday said reconstruction, rising consumer spending and exports are lifting the world's third biggest economy to a moderate recovery.

It warned about uncertainties in the global economy such as slowing growth in China and weak recoveries in Europe and the U.S.

The report says corporate spending plunged after the earthquake last year but the slide is now ending. The last time the government's view was upgraded was in August.

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