Japan’s government upgraded its assessment of the economy on Wednesday for the first time since May 2019 after a key indicator improved for August, pointing to a gradual recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The index of coincident economic indicators, which measures a range of data including factory output, employment and retail sales numbers, rose a preliminary 1.1 points from the previous month to 79.4 in August, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday.
Based on the index data, the Cabinet Office said that showed economic activity in the world’s third-largest economy had stopped contracting, an upgrade from its previous view that the economy was “worsening” in July.
The data offers some relief for new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who has pledged to contain the coronavirus outbreak and revive Japan’s battered economy.
The report follows the release last month of more upbeat economic outlook from the Bank of Japan, suggesting that no immediate expansion of stimulus was needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.