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Japan GDP on track to rebound just 0.5% in January-March

Coronavirus outbreak weakens recovery from sales tax hike

Tourists in masks visit Sensoji temple in Tokyo, one of the capital's busiest attractions. (Photo by Karina Noka) 

TOKYO -- Japan's economy will take longer than first expected to recover from last October's consumption tax hike, with the widening coronavirus outbreak weighing on both exports and consumer spending, economists say.

January-March real gross domestic product will grow at an annualized rate of only 0.5% from the previous quarter, based on the average forecast of 11 private-sector economists surveyed by Nikkei.

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