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MNI POLICY: Japan Keeps Econ View; Ups Exports, Corp Profits

--Japan economy shows movements of picking up

--Govt Ups view on Imports, Bankruptcy, cuts private consumption

TOKYO (MNI)

Japan's government has left its main economic assessment unchanged for the sixth straight month noting the economy "is still in a severe situation due to the Novel Coronavirus but it is showing movements of picking up."

The government upgraded its assessment on exports for the first time since September, saying "exports are increasing", an improvement on the previous "improving."

Imports, corporate profits and bankruptcy have also been upgraded from the previous month - the first since July this year, June 2019 and September 2020, respectively.

"Corporate profits are decreasing substantially" but "the rate of decline is becoming smaller as a whole," the report notes.

--LOWERS PRIVATE CONSUMPTION

The outlook for private consumption, however, was downgraded for the first time since September 2020 following the recent weak data triggered by the resurgent coronavirus.

"Private consumption is picking up as a whole, while weakness can be seen in some sectors," the government said, a downgrade from the previous assessment was "private consumption is picking up."

By-and large, the government mostly retained its near-term outlook, saying the economy is expected to continue to show signs of improvement supported by policies and the improvement in overseas economies while taking measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases."

However, the report said downside risks to the domestic and foreign economies needed to be watched with the virus still a threat. Also attention should be given to the effects of fluctuations in financial and capital markets."

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