Japan raised its economic assessment for August on Wednesday for the first time in 15 months, saying downward movements are coming to a halt after a plunge due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Cabinet Office's coincident index of business conditions rose 1.1 points from July to 79.4 against the 2015 base of 100, up for the third consecutive month, with the office saying the economy is "bottoming out" in the first upgrade of its evaluation since May last year.

For 12 straight months through July, the government had rated the economy as "worsening," the most pessimistic of its five expressions.