Panel: Japan's economy hit bottom in May 2020

NHK -- Dec 02
The Japanese government says the country's latest economic downturn bottomed out in May of last year, during the first wave of the pandemic.

The Cabinet Office convened a group of experts on Tuesday to figure out the length of the recessionary period that started in November 2018.

That's when Japan's economy took a turn for the worse on the back of trade disputes between China and the United States.

The experts calculate that the downturn reached its lowest point in May 2020. At the time, a state of emergency was in place for much of the country, hurting employment and corporate production.

The slump persisted for 19 months, making it the fourth longest recession since the end of World War Two.

The country's economy began to show signs of picking up in June 2020. But the recovery remains weak, with GDP shrinking in the three months to September this year.

The panel's chair says the economy has been improving at a fast pace since bottoming out, even in comparison with past recovery periods. But he says the upturn appears to be coming to a standstill.