Japan's deepest postwar recession is easing, the government's broadest measure of economic health indicated Tuesday.

The coincident index climbed to 85.8 in April, the first advance in 11 months, the Cabinet Office said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the gauge, a composite of 11 indicators, including factory production and retail sales, to rise to 86.

Exports have gotten a boost from public spending in China and other countries, while Prime Minister Taro Aso's record stimulus spending on tax incentives and cash handouts helped consumer sentiment advance to a 10-month high in April. Investor optimism that the worst is over has spurred a 38 percent gain in the Nikkei 225 stock average since March 10, when it was at a 26-year low.

Japan Times