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Japan Cabinet Report: Recession

S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 - Top of the Range This Week

The Cabinet Office released its report on Monday and the news was, as expected, bad. The GDP of Gross Domestic Product shrank 3.4% in the first quarter. Exports dived 21.8% and investment tanked as well. Private residential investments fell 17% and consumption fell as well, by 3.1% for households. Japan is vulnerable to trade disruptions as it relies on both China and the US for exports – coronavirus is hitting the US and China hard, so people buy less and Japan feels the economic/export pain. Also, the countries has been in a semi-lockdown or State of Emergency in all 47 prefectures with 39 opening partially last week but the largest ones – in population – are still being kept under lock and key by government regulations. Tokyo and Osaka are the two biggest metropolitan areas and will roll off State of Emergency status by the end of May, about 2 more weeks. There is some economic activity but it is light and the government is taking a slow and measured approach to opening up the economy. Still, Japan is in recession, and it is getting deeper.

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