TOKYO: The Bank of Japan lowered on Thursday its assessments on all nine regional economies in the country for the first time since January 2009, reflecting a plunge in the number of inbound tourists and a slump in consumer spending amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
In its quarterly regional economic report adopted at the day’s meeting of BOJ branch managers, the BOJ cut its assessments on personal consumption for the all nine regions.
The central bank also downgraded its views on production as well as employment and income for five regions, including the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, the Kinki western region and the Chugoku central region.
With the economic impact from the coronavirus outbreak spreading across the country, the BOJ said the effects of the virus crisis should be closely monitored, including downside risks ahead.
As for private consumption, an official at a hotel in Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan, said that the number of domestic tourists has fallen sharply, adding that the economic impact is larger than that from the global financial crisis triggered by the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.
On production, an official at a transportation machinery maker in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Fukuoka said that “there is a strong sense of uncertainty due to a fall in global demand for automobiles.”
Still, an official at a company in the auto industry in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, said that exports to China have turned upward recently.