Japan slashes spending view for 2nd straight month in Jan report

Daniel Leussink
·1 min read

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Japan's government cut its view on consumption for the second consecutive month in January, as services spending suffered from the impact of anti-coronavirus emergency measures rolled out earlier this month.

Authorities in January stuck to their overall assessment of the world's third-largest economy from the prior month, saying that it remained in a severe situation due to COVID-19, but was still showing signs of picking up.

The government slashed its assessment of private consumption again after doing the same in December, saying its recovery appeared to be at a standstill, mainly due to weakening service-related spending such as on eating out and travel.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga this month announced a second state of emergency to overcome the health crisis, which now covers Tokyo and Osaka as well as other areas, accounting for 55% of the nation's population.

The government's lower view on private spending comes a day after the Bank of Japan warned on Thursday of the threat the emergency measures pose to consumption, which accounts for more than half of the country's gross domestic product.

In its economic report, the government also downgraded its view on business conditions, saying "cautiousness" could be seen mainly among service-sector firms.

Among other key economic elements, authorities upgraded their view on housing construction as well as capital spending, saying machinery investments helped it stop falling.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)