Japan Lowers Exports View, Says Economy Shows Weakness In March Report

  • Japan's government in March cut its view on exports for the first time in 10 months and said overall economic conditions were still showing weakness due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Authorities also urged attention to how the spread of COVID-19 is affecting the Japanese and other economies, days after the end of a state of emergency in the capital, Tokyo, and three neighboring prefectures. "The economy shows some weakness, though it continued picking up amid severe conditions due to the coronavirus," the government said in its economic report for March.
  • Among key economic elements, the government slashed its assessment of exports, a key driver of Japan's trade-reliant economy, for the first time since May, saying they were increasing at a slower pace.
  • Behind the downgrade was a slowdown in car exports, which showed signs of flattening out after manufacturers front-loaded shipments ahead of an expected recovery from the health crisis, especially in the United States, a government official said.
  • Analysts expect Japan's economy to shrink sharply in the current quarter as the emergency that ended on Sunday weighed on business activity and consumer spending.

(Source: Reuters)