Japan’s economy, the third-largest in the world, shrank 7.8% in the second quarter. This was the third consecutive quarter of contraction translating to an annualised decline of 27.8%, the worst fall since modern records began in 1980.
Previously, the worst annualised decline in Japan’s economic growth was the 17.8% fall in the first quarter of 2009, following the global financial crisis.
The second quarter of 2020 also witnessed the steepest plunge in Japanese consumer spending on record. Private consumption, which accounts for more than half of the economy, fell 8.2% from the previous quarter, amid a lockdown that ran from early April to late May.
In the last quarter of 2019, Japan’s economy shrank at an annualised rate of 7% following a hike in its consumption tax and a massive typhoon. It contracted 2.5% in the opening quarter of 2020 as the virus proliferated nationwide.
Even so, Japan fared better last quarter than the UK, where output plummeted 20.4%.