TOKYO: The nation moved a step toward the normalisation of economic activities when the state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures was lifted on March 21.
However, full-fledged economic recovery is likely to take time, as many restaurants and retail stores are planning to continue shortening their operating hours with no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many private-sector economists forecast the real economic growth rate for the January-March period will fall in the range of 5% on an annualised basis compared with the previous quarter due to the state of emergency, which lasted about 2½ months.
Most economists expect the economy to return to positive growth in the 5% range in the April-June period.
According to Kiuchi, Japan’s economic recovery may be slower than that of major countries. “Japan lags behind Europe and the United States in vaccinations and the delay may make a difference in the pace of economic recovery, ” he said. — The Japan News/ANN