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TOKYO, May 18 (Reuters) - Japan's economy expanded at an annualised rate of 2.2 percent in January-March, posting a fifth straight quarter of expansion led by solid exports and private consumption, government data showed on Thursday.
The preliminary reading for first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) compared with a median estimate for a 1.7 percent increase in a Reuters poll of economists.
It followed a revised 1.4 percent annualised rate of expansion in the prior quarter, the Cabinet Office data showed.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose 0.5 percent, against a 0.4 percent rise expected by economists.
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here (Reporting by Leika Kihara and Minami Funakoshi; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)