Covid drags down Japan’s first quarter growth

Japan’s economic output fell by 1.3% in the first quarter of 2021, and fell by 5.1% on an annual basis, due to the reappearance of the Covid-19 emergency on consumer spending.

Drop is Slightly worse It is 1.2% lower than analysts’ expectations and marks a contraction after the economic recovery Expand in the last quarter 2020.

The sharp decline in production shows that Asia’s largest affluent economy will be slow to rebound from the pandemic Laggard launch Coronavirus vaccine.

As Japan’s major cities are still restricted to control the spread of Covid-19, the economy may contract further in the second quarter, prompting economists to lower their growth expectations for the whole year.

Rob Carnell, head of research for the Asia-Pacific region at ING, said: “We may also need to significantly reduce GDP for the full year of 2021.” Most analysts have predicted that the full year growth will exceed 3%. But to reach this level, it will take a sharp rebound in the second half of the year.

Therefore, Japan may lag behind the economic recovery in Europe and the United States. Massive fiscal stimulus Demand under President Joe Biden’s leadership quickly recovered.

Japan announces resumption of Covid-19 emergency Early January, And then extended to March, which had an impact on the economy for most of the first quarter. According to the emergency statement, people are required to work from home if possible, and restaurants are instructed to close at 8pm.

other State of emergency The case began in late April, but the number of cases failed to be controlled, and the Japanese authorities expanded the geographical scope and severity of restrictions.

There are about 6000 infections every day, the highest level since the beginning of January. The medical system in parts of the country is under tension.

The fundamental reason for the continued public health restrictions is the slow progress of vaccination. Japan has provided the first dose of vaccine to 4.4 million people, accounting for only 3.5% of the population, making it one of the slowest growth rates in industrialized countries.

Weaknesses are widespread The entire economy In the first quarter. Consumption fell by 0.7 percentage points compared with total output value, business investment contributed 0.2 percentage points to the decline, and government spending and net exports also fell.

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