Japan's households, firms keep piling up cash at record pace as pandemic persists

Reuters -- Jan 14
Japan’s currency in circulation and bank deposits rose at a record pace in December, data showed on Wednesday, as a resurgence in coronavirus infections prompted companies and households to continue hoarding cash rather than spending it.

The numbers highlight the challenge the government faces in trying to contain the virus without threatening Japan’s already fragile economic recovery.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to announce an extension of state of emergency measures beyond Tokyo as early as Wednesday as COVID-19 infections keep rising.

Japan’s M3 money stock - or currency in circulation and deposits at financial institutions - rose 7.63% in December from a year earlier, marking the biggest increase on record, Bank of Japan data showed. The rise slightly exceeded a 7.59% gain in November.

- Reuters