Japan loses 7.8% in GDP to COVID-19 onslaught

Japan has lost at least 7.8% in its gross domestic products (GDP) to COVID-19, the latest financial figures reveal.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the country’s economy hard which contracted by 27.8% in the first quarter of the current fiscal – April-June, Yonhap news reported. GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in a country.

It is the biggest contraction of Japan’s economy on record and the government showed negative growth for the third consecutive quarter.

The country’s economic activity was restricted under the now-lifted state of emergency. The emergency was imposed in April to stem the spread of the infection and lifted in late May.

A cabinet official said the latest figure is “considered the largest contraction” on record even dating back to 1955. Japan’s economic stress was magnified by COVID-19.

It already faced setbacks due to the US-China trade spat last year followed by a 2% consumption tax hike last year.

Last time, it was in 2009 when Japan posted a record of 17.8% contraction in the January-March quarter due to the global financial crisis.

Meanwhile, schools across Japan reopened Monday after a brief nine-day summer vacation. The authorities shortened the vacations to allow students to make for the missed lessons due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan has reported 54,714 coronavirus cases and nearly 1,088 deaths due to COVID-19. The country conducted over one million tests to determine the coronavirus infection.

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