TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan on Wednesday maintained its assessment on the economy for December, saying that it is "picking up moderately," but cut its view on production for the first time in six months in a sign that global economic growth is slowing.
It is the sixth straight month that the Cabinet Office has left its monthly assessment unchanged. It continued to warn of fluctuations in financial markets and added a new reference saying that coronavirus infection trends in China warrant "full attention" amid a gradual easing of its zero-COVID policy.
The office cut its outlook for the global economy for the first time in four months, saying it continues to recover moderately despite growth stalling in some regions. Its assessment in November had no mention of regional concerns.
After an unexpected contraction in July-September, the world's third-largest economy is expected to rebound in the three months to December, though aggressive monetary tightening in the United States and Europe has raised concerns about growth prospects.
The pick-up in industrial production appears to be "pausing," while exports are almost flat, the monthly economic report said.
The government retained its view that private consumption is "picking up moderately," despite accelerating inflation casting a pall over the outlook. Consumer prices are "rising," it said, keeping the view unchanged for the eighth straight month.