The recent acceleration in the number of new coronavirus cases has prompted the government to declare a state of emergency this week. So far, Japan hasn’t moved to a full lockdown as people are still allowed to go to work. But public behaviour already appears to be changing as many people are staying at home and department stores are closing. And if the virus isn’t brought under control soon, more draconian measures that limit activity to essential services may follow. The upshot is that we now expect GDP to fall by more than 10% this quarter.
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