Japan economy falls 27.8% due to Covid-19

Japanese media reported the latest drop was the worst since World War II. But the cabinet office said comparable records began in 1980. The previous worst contraction, a 17.8% drop, was in the first quarter of 2009, during the global financial crisis.
A man walks by restaurants in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo on Monday.(AP Photo)
A man walks by restaurants in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo on Monday.(AP Photo)
Updated on Aug 18, 2020 12:51 AM IST
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Tokyo | ByAssociated Press | Posted by Kanishka Sarkar

Japan’s economy shrank at annual rate of 27.8% in April-June, the worst contraction on record, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed consumption and trade, according to government data released on Monday.

The cabinet office said Japan’s preliminary seasonally adjusted real GDP fell 7.8% quarter on quarter. The annual rate shows what the number would have been if continued for a year.

Japanese media reported the latest drop was the worst since World War II. But the cabinet office said comparable records began in 1980. The previous worst contraction, a 17.8% drop, was in the first quarter of 2009, during the global financial crisis.

The world’s third largest economy was already limping along when the virus outbreak struck in China late last year. It has weakened as the pandemic gained ground, leading to social distancing restrictions and prompting many people to stay home when they can.

“In April, May, a state of emergency was issued, it was a situation where the economy was artificially stopped,” said Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister for economic and fiscal policy.

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