TOKYO Feb 17 (Reuters) - Japan's economy grew 0.3 percent in October-December from the previous quarter, posting the fourth straight quarter of expansion, government data showed on Monday, reflecting firm private consumption and a pickup in capital spending.
The preliminary estimate of gross domestic product compared with 0.7 percent growth expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. It followed a revised 0.3 percent gain in July-September, the Cabinet Office data showed.
The fourth-quarter GDP figure translated into an annualised expansion of 1.0 percent, compared with economists' median forecast of 2.8 percent, and 3.2 percent annualised growth in the United States in the same quarter.
Private consumption, which accounts for about 60 percent of the economy, increased 0.5 percent, posting the fifth straight quarter of gains.
Capital spending, which holds the key for sustained growth in the world's third-largest economy, rose 1.3 percent, up for the third straight quarter.
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