Japan board says May 2020 manifest latest business sequence bottom

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The COVID-19 epidemic, according to a group of Japanese economists tasked with defining the peaks and troughs of Japan’s business cycles, put a stop to nearly two years of economic slump.

When early coronavirus limitations impacted households and companies in May 2020, the government-established panel provisionally proclaimed that the economy had exited its latest recession and started a boom.

The end of the downturn phase was formally marked by the health crisis shock, as most indicators reached a point where they were no longer declining, which the panel regarded as the trough.

“We agreed that May 2020 marked the economy’s trough … when consumption and many other economic indicators plummeted” amid state of emergency curbs, said Hiroshi Yoshikawa, president of Rissho University who chairs the panel convened by the Cabinet Office.

The panel reviews official business cycle chronology based on changes in ten economic variables such as industrial output, exports, retail sales, and employment availability, comparable to the business cycle dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the United States.

In July, the American counterpart revealed that the US economy had reached a new low in April 2020, marking the quickest recession on record at two months.

The Japanese panel tentatively announced last year that the economy had achieved its prior peak in October 2018, when the deepening US-China trade war ended 71 months of expansion, the second-longest on record.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah