Japan’s coincident index falls 0.9 point, government cuts view


TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s coincident indicator index worsened in March and the government cut its view, signaling the economy may be in recession as the U.S.-China trade war and weak external demand hurt the export-reliant economy.

The assessment on the index by the government says the economy is worsening, which suggests there is a high possibility the economy is in recession.

Previously, the government said the economy was at “a turning point towards a downgrade”, meaning the economy may have peaked a few months earlier.

It will later examine the economy comprehensively and retrospectively with panel members and officially define the economic cycle.

The index of coincident economic indicators, which consists of a range of data including factory output, employment and retail sales data, fell a preliminary 0.9 point in March from the previous month, the Cabinet Office said on Monday.

The index for leading economic indicators, which is a gauge of the economy a few months ahead and is compiled using data such as job offers and consumer sentiment, slipped 0.8 point from February.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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