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Housing investment key driver behind Japan's robust Q2 GDP, says official

Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso cited the country's strong housing investment as the key driver behind 4% annualized GDP growth in the second quarter, adding that capital spending also boosted growth, Reuters reported.

Japan recorded a sixth straight quarter of economic expansion in the April-June period, when GDP rose 1.0% quarter over quarter and logged its fastest pace of expansion in more than two years.

Private residential investment was up 1.5% in the second quarter from 0.9% in the preceding three months, according to Aug. 14 data from the Cabinet Office.

Private consumption rose 0.9% in the three months ended June 30, while business spending grew 2.4%.

Aso said capital spending could rise further as machinery orders stay at "high levels," Reuters reported.