The economy grew for the third consecutive quarter in the April-June period, supported by solid consumer spending and capital expenditure, but its pace slowed from the previous quarter amid sluggish exports, government data showed Friday.

The country's inflation-adjusted gross domestic product expanded at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in real terms, following a revised expansion of 2.8 percent in the January-March period, the Cabinet Office said.

The preliminary reading beat the average forecast of 0.7 percent growth made by private-sector economists polled by Kyodo News. On a quarterly basis, the world's third-largest economy grew 0.4 percent in real terms.