Wed, 27 Oct 2021

TOKYO, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government on Thursday downgraded its economic assessment for September, saying the pace of recovery has "weakened," as consumption and industrial output slowed down and the COVID-19 pandemic caused a decrease in car manufacture.

The Cabinet Office said in the monthly report that the country's economy is picking up, while the speed of recovery has weakened due to the severe COVID-19 situation.

By sector, the surge in infections in Southeast Asia disrupted the supply chain and forced some Japanese automakers to reduce production and sales.

This disturbance has further hit the automotive industry, which was already influenced by a worldwide semiconductor shortage and has begun to hurt manufacturers of electronic components and construction equipment, the official said.

Looking ahead, the government issued a warning of "negative effects through the supply chains," yet the economy is projected to keep picking up.

On individual consumption, the report said it "shows weakness," as the depressed trend has spread to expenditure on commodities such as cars and home appliances, the official said.

Taking into consideration the surge in demand for housing in the suburbs following the increasing trend of remote work and meetings, the upgraded version of housing construction evaluation said it has shown a "movements of picking up recently."

Spending on eating out and travels were still slow as Tokyo and many other areas saw a record-breaking COVID-19 resurgence since late July, making the government expand and extend the state of emergency covering those places several times.

Views on other major components remained unchanged. The office assessed business investment as "picking up" and exports "continue to increase moderately."

The assessment was revised downward for the first time since May as the third downgrading of this year.

The report last month said the country's economy showed "further" weakness in some sectors.

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