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Key index indicates possible downturn

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Cabinet Office said Monday a key index of the country’s economic indicators is “worsening,” showing this assessment for the first time in six years and two months and indicating the economy’s possible entry into a recessionary phase.

The government agency gave the new view in a preliminary report that showed the composite index (CI) of coincident economic indicators for March fell 0.9 point from the previous month.

The coincident CI, which reflects current economic conditions, stood at 99.6 against 100 for the base year of 2015.

The government previously claimed that the Japanese economy has been in an expansionary phase since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s second administration was launched in December 2012.

When releasing the CI report for January, however, the Cabinet Office lowered its assessment of the index, from “weakening” to “signaling a possible [downward] turning point.”

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