All broadcasters took up the Cabinet Office’s announcement this morning that the nation’s GDP increased by an annualized rate of 1.3% in the second quarter of this year thanks to moderate increases in exports and capital spending. However, as personal spending was almost flat partly due to the prolonged COVID-19 state of emergency, the overall growth rate remained lackluster. Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Nishimura expressed optimism about the economic outlook for the latter half of this year in anticipation of the rapid vaccine rollout and the consequent relaxation of various restrictions on economic activities. “Japan’s potential for economic recovery is strong,” he was quoted as saying. “We are expecting robust ‘revenge consumption’” once the pandemic has been contained.