Japan lowered its economic outlook for the first time in six months, saying last month’s devastating quake and tsunami would continue hurting the economy for some time.
The Japanese government also downgraded its views on key economic aspects, like exports, industrial output and private consumption, all of which have been hurt by post-quake power shortages and supply chain disruptions
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While the Japanese economy is expected to resume its gradual recovery by year-end, top government spokesman Yukio Edano says the current situation remains tough.
“Although our economy was picking up, it has shown weak signs recently due to the impact of the earthquake. Unemployment is still high, and the situation remains tough. That’s why we have revised the economic outlook downwards.”
The government’s revision is in line with the Bank of Japan, which cut its assessment of the economy last week.
The BOJ said the Japanese economy would remain under “strong downward pressure” for some time.
The total cost of the March 11 triple disaster has been estimated at $300 billion, making it the world’s most costly natural disaster.
Bottom line: Japan cuts the outlook for its economy – its first downgrade in six months – saying last month’s devastating quake and tsunami would hurt growth.