Japan to declare May 2020 as end of economic downturn

The government plans to recognize that the country’s economic downturn that started in November 2018 ended in May 2020, sources said Sunday.

The recognition means that the economy started recovering in June 2020 after a 19-month downturn.

The Cabinet Office is expected to announce the recognition after a panel of experts advising the agency meets on Tuesday, the sources said.

The country’s first COVID-19 state of emergency was in place in May 2020, denting personal consumption and factory output. The economy contracted at an annualized rate of 28.2% in April-June of that year, the worst in post-World War II history.

The previous economic downturn lasted eight months from April 2012, the second-shortest in the postwar period. The longest was 36 months from March 1980 to February 1983.

The Cabinet Office’s recognition means that the economy is currently in an upturn. But the economy is still struggling with COVID-19’s fallout and posted negative growth in January-March of 2021 and again in July-September.

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