Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Japan on edge of recession: Survey

Reports say Japan is sliding into recession after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the world's number three economic power last month

Source: Press TV

A new survey shows Japan will likely plunge into recession in the upcoming months, following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and a nuclear crisis in the Asian nation.

After a survey of 11 major private economic institutions, the Nikkei business newspaper reported on Tuesday that Japan's economy is feared to shrink 2.6 percent on the average.

Some economists, however, painted a gloomier picture of the current situation in Japan, predicting a 7.1 percent drop in the disaster-hit country, the Japanese daily said.

It added that no recovery was expected until the July-September quarter.

Apart from the tragic human toll, the triple disaster in Japan has destroyed much of the nation's infrastructures, knocked out power and disrupted the supply chain, forcing many companies and manufacturers to shut down production.

The crisis has also slashed business confidence, reduced exports and discouraged consumer spending in the world's number three economy.

Japan has so far put the cost for last month's earthquake and tsunami, which has officially left 11,938 people dead, at 25 trillion yen ($297 billion).

The estimate does not account for wider issues such as the effects of radiation from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

On Saturday, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the level of radiation in the seawater near the Fukushima plant has reached more than 4,000 times the legal limit.

Reports indicate that some food products from towns around the epicenter of the nuclear crisis have already been contaminated.

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