The annualized growth rate of 2.6% for Japan's gross domestic product in the second quarter supports the government's intention to raise sales tax early next year to 8%, from 5%, said Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari. "GDP is one of the factors for making a decision," he said. "The [latest] GDP data is a good figure." The increase fell short of a 3.6% consensus forecast among economists.

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