Japan to release its Consumer Price Index and unemployment rate

Japan is scheduled to release their Consumer Price Index (CPI) and unemployment rate today. Today’s indices will reflect the status

Koji Sasahara AP

Koji Sasahara/AP

Japan is scheduled to release their Consumer Price Index (CPI) and unemployment rate today.

Today’s indices will reflect the status of Japan’s post-pandemic recovery. Earlier this month, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga extended lockdowns to the end of May earlier this month to curb the spread of COVID-19. Extensions affected Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures. While Japan’s unemployment rate and CPI improved in March, the extended lockdown has stalled further recovery.

Current trends also complicate Japan’s hosting the 2021 Summer Olympic Games in July. Nevertheless, Japan and the International Olympic Committee say the games will occur without international spectators despite widespread condemnation from the population. Without spectators, they would result in a sizeable economic loss.

Expect Japan’s CPI and unemployment rate to continue to worsen in the short-term as Tokyo likely further extends lockdowns. The Olympics will not provide the boost to tourism and consumer spending they normally bring to host nations. Instead, they could increase COVID-19 cases, lengthening lockdowns and economic recovery. Increased vaccination efforts will most likely drive economic recovery in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. Recent approval of the Moderna and AstraZeneca jabs will increase availability beyond healthcare workers and the elderly.

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