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Delta surge clouds hopes for Japan GDP recovery

Rebound seen as unlikely at least until year-end as vaccinations lag

The threat of the delta variant hung over the Tokyo Olympics and remains a risk to Japan's economic recovery. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

TOKYO -- Japan's tepid economic growth for April-June has dimmed hopes for a quick recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with economists predicting similarly weak numbers for July-September as the spread of the contagious delta variant slows consumer spending.   

Japan's real gross domestic product increased an annualized 1.3% in April-June from the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office announced Monday, in a slow recovery from the 3.7% contraction in January-March. Japan's GDP still sits 1.5% below where it was in October-December 2019, before the coronavirus spread globally.

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