Business / Economy

Emergency declaration extension could double job losses in Japan

JIJI

Extending the emergency declaration for the coronavirus by a month would double the ranks of the jobless to 778,000, according to an economist’s projection.

A one-month extension would keep consumption down along with people’s movements, further deepening the damage to the economy, economists said.

Toshihiro Nagahama, a senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, had projected that some 368,000 people would lose their jobs during the state of emergency as long as it expires Wednesday as planned.

But Nagahama now estimates that number will double if the emergency lasts another month as the government reportedly plans.

Takahide Kiuchi, executive economist at Nomura Research Institute, said a one-month extension would cause private consumption to drop by an additional ¥13.9 trillion, expanding the negative impact to a total of ¥27.8 trillion.

Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Ltd., had projected the state of emergency would lower real gross domestic product by 1.6 percent in fiscal 2020. He says the planned extension would push GDP growth down to a negative 6.3 percent for the year ending March 2021.

Although GDP is expected to rebound sharply after the slump predicted for the April-June quarter, it is unlikely to return the previous quarter’s level within fiscal 2020.

Voluntary restrictions on going out would continue until drugs and vaccines for COVID-19 are developed, Kono said.

“We’ll remain unable to return to the levels of economic activities we used to have for about a year after the state of emergency is lifted,” he predicted.

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