Lower economic assessment coming

Kyodo

The government is planning to downgrade its overall assessment of the economy for the fourth straight month in its report Friday, according to sources.

The planned revision follows the annualized 3.5 percent decline in gross domestic product in the July-September period, marking the first contraction in three quarters, as exports fell amid the country’s worsening ties with China.

The downgrade would mark the longest losing streak since the assessment was lowered for five months from October 2008 through February 2009 amid the global financial crisis.

The Cabinet Office said in October that economic activity had displayed “a weak tone recently due to the deceleration of the world economy, although some components still show steady movements.” It is expected to change the wording to reflect a further economic slowdown.

The government views domestic demand as having weakened, as represented in a slowdown of personal spending, while employment conditions have deteriorated with the ratio of job offers to job seekers in September declining for the first time in three years and two months.