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Amid virus outbreak, Japan's economy takes a hit

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:07s - Published
Amid virus outbreak, Japan's economy takes a hit

Amid virus outbreak, Japan's economy takes a hit

Japan's economy has shrunk due to the effects of the country's latest sales tax hike as well as the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak.

Gloria Tso reports.

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Amid virus outbreak, Japan's economy takes a hit

Japan's economy is taking a hit, having shrunk more than six percent in the last quarter -- its biggest fall since 2014.

The coronavirus outbreak is making it worse.

Japan is the most affected country outside China largely due to a cruise ship with more than 400 infected passengers docked in Yokohama.

It's also the world's third-largest economy and analysts predict it could contract again this quarter.

They blame the country's long-delayed hike in sales tax coupled with disruption from the virus.

Japan delivered the tax hike in October and unusually warm weather kept consumers from buying things for winter, like clothing.

Tokyo hoped the economy would bounce back since officials had already taken steps to cushion the blow from the tax.

But the virus is disrupting supply chains for Japan's exporters like Honda and taking a big bite out of tourism.

It could push the country into recession -- defined as two straight quarters of decline.

Analysts warn that if the virus is not contained by the Tokyo Olympics this summer, the lasting economic damage will be huge.



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