Govt. lowers assessment of Japan economy

NHK -- Feb 20
Japan's government has downgraded its assessment of the economy for the first time in 10 months, saying a state of emergency for the coronavirus has hit spending.

Officials say there is weakness in some parts of the economy, although it continues to show signs of picking up overall.

They lowered their assessment of private consumption for the third month in a row in their February report.

They noted people are spending less at restaurants as the pandemic continues to bite.

On the other hand, the report says business investment is showing upward momentum as auto-related spending accelerates.

Officials say imports are also showing signs of improvement, with people splashing out on appliances as they stay at home more.

Looking ahead, officials warn of the continued impact of the pandemic as it keeps casting its shadow over the economy.