• Kyodo

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The economic recovery appears to be “pausing,” the government said Monday, downgrading its basic assessment of the benchmark composite index, the first such move since the economy was unsettled by the March 2011 megaquake and tsunami.

The data suggested slower production among carmakers, with the Cabinet Office pointing to the diminishing effects of the government’s fiscal “green car” stimulus measure for the auto industry as well as the gloomier global economic outlook amid the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which has weighed on Japanese exports.

The index of coincident economic indicators, which describes the current state of the economy and includes industrial output, retail sales and the ratio of new job offers to seekers, stood at 93.8 in June, down from 95.8 in May, for the third straight month of deterioration.

The result alluded to a “pausing” of the economy, the office said, lowering the view for the first time in 15 months. Between February and May, it said the economy was “improving.”

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