Japan's economy did better than thought in the last quarter of 2012, eking out a slight expansion instead of shrinking.

The government today upgraded its annualised growth figure for the fourth quarter to 0.2%, suggesting the world's number three economy is emerging from recession.

The change raises growth for full-year 2012 to 2% from the originally recorded 1.9%. Growth was flat in the three months from October to December from the previous quarter.

Preliminary data had reported a 0.4% contraction from a year earlier, and a 0.1% contraction from the previous quarter.

The revision reflected higher than originally reported corporate spending and private consumption.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry said Japan logged a deficit in its current account of 364.8 billion yen ($3.8 billion) in January, the third month of deficits in a row.