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Riku Tanaka
April 8 21:00

Sentiment plummets to record lows in Japan

Japanese consumers may never have been so wary as they are now.
Market estimation among head supervisors, hairdressers, cab drivers and other merchants who deal with Japanese consumers directly has plunged to a record low at the end of March, as indicated by results of a Cabinet Office review that were released on Wednesday (Apr 8). According to the survey, sentiment hasn’t been this low since 2002.

The Economy Watcher's study among the first consumer-focused data sets that is provided by the Japanese government on a monthly basis, so it offers an early look at how the economy is feeling about the quick moving effect of the coronavirus, at ground level.
A particular data point in the study that shows an estimation of individuals' perspectives on their present conditions indicated that people have a worse outlook than they did after 2011's deadly tsunami or during the 2008’s global financial crisis. And this index wasn’t the only one to hit a record low.
The situation is unlikely to have gotten any better since the survey was conducted. The number of confirmed cases and fatalities have spiked in the island nation recently, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency for Japan’s most heavily populated urban communities. He additionally announced a record-breaking stimulus plan in order to stem the financial damage as the nation deals with the pandemic.
Meanwhile, bankruptcies in Japan have spiked 12% year-on-year in March, as indicated by a separate Wednesday (Apr 8) report from Tokyo Shoko Research. Permanent business closings have jumped by double digits in every month this year. Some analysts have predicted an economic contraction of over 20 percent this quarter.