Japan Maintains Severe Assessment of Economy in November
Japanese 10,000 yen banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. (Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg)

Japan Maintains Severe Assessment of Economy in November

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Japan’s government maintained its assessment of the economy in November, saying that conditions remain severe despite signs of improvement as the country faces fresh record numbers of virus cases.

In its monthly report released Wednesday, the Cabinet Office used the same language to describe the overall state of the economy for a fifth straight month, but said it saw improvement in production. It lowered its assessment for capital expenditure.

The assessment comes as Japan tentatively moves toward tighter restrictions in the face of record case numbers in major cities. Six months after the end of the country’s state of emergency, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is facing the tough task of trying to keep a lid on infections while aiding the recovery of the economy.

Production and exports have shown improvement in recent months, but other parts of the economy continue to lag. Prices haven’t risen for months even after excluding the impact from a nationwide campaign to subsidize hotel prices and spur domestic travel and consumption.

To support Japan’s economy, Suga has already ordered a third extra budget, with one of his advisers expecting it to reach around 15 trillion yen in spending. But as cases spike in the U.S. and Europe, Japan also faces the possibility of another drop in growth.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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