Japan’s Economy Returns to Growth, but Virus Threat Looms
TOKYO — Japan stepped back into economic growth in the second three months of 2021, but prospects for a more robust recovery looked dim as the country grappled with its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began.
The country’s economy, the third-largest after the United States and China, grew at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent during the April-to-June period, recording a quarterly increase of 0.3 percent. The expansion followed a quarter-to-quarter drop of 0.9 percent in the previous three-month period.
Even as other major economies have roared back to life, Japan’s has been stuck in a cycle of growth and contraction as the country has struggled with a persistent spread of infections that has kept its shops, bars and restaurants under constricted schedules.
Currently, case levels in Japan are at record highs. The country reported almost 18,000 new infections on Sunday,…