Japan's economy 'getting worse rapidly'

NHK -- Apr 24
Japan's government says the nation's economy is "getting worse rapidly in an extremely severe situation" due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In its monthly economic report for April, the government downgraded its assessment of the economy for the second straight month.

It's the first time in nearly 11 years that the government has used the word "worse" in its assessment of the economy.

The government downgraded its view of personal consumption for the second consecutive month. It said private consumption is "decreasing rapidly" due to the coronavirus.

Bookings for domestic train travel for the upcoming spring holidays are almost one-tenth of last year's level, as people are being urged to stay at home.

The government also downgraded its assessment of exports for the first time in 15 months, and its view of industrial production for the first time in four months.

The country's auto production and exports have slumped due to plummeting global demand and limited supplies of parts.

The government downgraded its view of the labor market for the second straight month, saying the employment situation has seen "some weak movements lately."

It also said the rate of decline in job offers has been accelerating since February.