Japan on brink of recession as economy contracts

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Japan’s economy shrank at the fastest pace in almost six years in the December quarter as a sales tax hike hit consumer and business spending, raising the risk of a recession as China’s coronavirus outbreak chills global activity.

Analysts say the widening fallout from the epidemic, which is damaging output and tourism, could have a significant impact on Japan if it’s not contained in coming months.

“There’s a pretty good chance the economy will suffer another contraction in January-March. The virus will mainly hit inbound tourism and exports, but could also weigh on domestic consumption quite a lot.

L. NASIR