June 19, 2021
Economy

Japan’s economy slumps back into decline as COVID-19 hits spending

Pedestrians wearing protective masks, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, make their way during commuting hour at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, January 7, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

Japan’s economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter as a slow vaccine rollout and new COVID-19 infections hit spending on items such as dining out and clothes, raising concerns the country will lag others emerging from the pandemic.

Capital expenditure also fell unexpectedly and export growth slowed sharply, a sign the world’s third-largest economy is struggling for drivers to pull it out of the doldrums.

The dismal reading and extended state of emergency curbs have heightened the risk Japan may shrink again in the current quarter and slide back to recession, defined as two straight quarters of recession, some analysts say.

“Global chip…

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