TOKYO - Japan's economic growth has risen higher than expected in the first quarter of 2006. GDP grew by 3.1% compared with the same period last year, well above the 1.9% forecast.

The Cabinet Office says the upward revision was caused by increases in spending on plant and equipment among information technology-related manufacturers and leasing companies in the January-March period.

Economists say the new figures support the government's assessment that the nation's economic growth is not relying solely on exports; domestic demand is also strong.