Japan’s economy shrinks at record pace as pandemic wipes out ‘Abenomics’ gains

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan was hit by its biggest economic contraction on record in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic crushed consumption and exports, keeping policymakers under pressure for bolder action to prevent a deeper recession.

The third straight quarter of declines knocked the size of real gross domestic product (GDP) to decade-low levels, wiping out the benefits brought by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” stimulus policies deployed in late 2012.

While the economy is emerging from the doldrums after lockdowns were lifted in late May, many analysts expect any rebound in the current quarter to be modest as a renewed rise in infections keep consumers’ purse-strings tight.

“The big decline can be explained by the decrease in consumption and exports,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.



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