• Kyodo News

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The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday lowered its assessment of nationwide business conditions for the sixth consecutive time since December 2007 amid the protracted economic downturn.

METI described the overall business trend as “receding” in its latest report, down from “weakening further” in the previous report in December, pointing to further deterioration in the production and employment situations.

The downgrade extended the longest streak of downward revisions since METI began the survey, which is conducted roughly on a quarterly basis.

The ministry said business conditions were either “receding” or “weakening further” in nine of the nation’s 10 regions, with only Okinawa “weakening.”

Since 2001, METI regional bureau chiefs have gathered to discuss regional economic conditions with the minister.

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