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ECONOMY > Economic Indicators

Japan govt reiterates downbeat economic view due to virus

  • May 28, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 5:27 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 28 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government on Thursday maintained its view that the spread of the new coronavirus was continuing to batter the country’s economy.


“The Japanese economy is worsening rapidly in an extremely severe situation, due to the novel coronavirus,” the Cabinet Office said in a monthly economic report. Last month, the government said the economy was “getting worse rapidly” due to the virus.


The economy was hit hard by restrictions imposed under a state of emergency to stop the spread of the virus, officials said.


In the May report, the government revised down its assessments on business investment, exports and employment, apparently reflecting the coronavirus pandemic.


Business investment is “in a weak tone recently,” exports are decreasing “rapidly” and the employment situation shows some weak movements “further,” the report said.


The report also offered a dim view of personal consumption, saying it is “decreasing rapidly” due to the fallout from the virus.


The government revised up its assessment on imports, saying there is some resilience recently despite lingering negative impacts from the virus.


“While overall domestic demand was still weak, increased demand for masks and personal computers” supported a pause in import drops, a Cabinet Office official said.


The report withdrew a warning over further downside risks included in the April report, but that does not necessarily mean the worst was over, the official said.


The May report said that “an extremely severe situation is expected to remain” for the time being amid the coronavirus crisis.


It said that “attention should be given to the effects of fluctuations in the financial and capital markets.”


The Cabinet Office thinks that domestic demand may pick up after bottoming out in April or May after the coronavirus state of emergency was fully lifted on Monday.


“What has changed from April is the full lifting of the state of emergency,” the official said. “We don’t know if the economy has bottomed out, but the full lifting of the emergency may support domestic demand.”



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