Japan's Service Activity Crashes to Lowest Level Ever


Japan was already reeling from Abenomics and a seriously misguided tax hike. Then the coronavirus hit.

Manufacturing PMI

Japan's Economic Outlook

Kiss the 2020 Summer Olympics Goodbye

Forget about the 2020 summer Olympics as well because All Signs Point to Tokyo Olympics Being Postponed.

"In the balance of probabilities, the information known about conditions in Japan and the COVID-19's effect on the rest of world clearly indicates the likelihood of postponement,” Reedie said. “The length of postponement is the major challenge for the IOC.”

Earlier in the day, IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today that he had reached the same conclusion about the games, which are scheduled to start July 24. A tweet put out by the newspaper read: “The 2020 Summer Olympics Have Been Postponed Over Coronavirus Concerns.”

The IOC said no decision had been made, and Reedie was quick to acknowledge that he was speaking only for himself and not because of any insight provided to him by IOC president Thomas Bach, who will guide the final decision.

After that IOC announcement, however, both Canada and Australia — whose senior Olympic official is IOC member John Coates, the leader of the Tokyo inspection team — sent word that they would not or could not send teams to Japan for an Olympics that start in July.

"I know this is heartbreaking for so many people — athletes, coaches, staff and fans — but this was absolutely the right call, and everyone should follow their lead,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

There are already two cancellations. More are coming.

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (11)

Growth in "Service Activity PMI" levels reached it's lowest level...

Not "Service Activity PMI" levels themselves. They were no doubt lower at the end of WW2.

In "normal" times, that would be implied. But with lockdowns getting tighter and tighter......

For a period in Wuhan, I wouldn't be surprised if whatever the heck "service activity PMI" attempts to measure, actually did reach its lowest level ever. Even in absolute terms.

No. 1-4


lowest level ever means recorded


My prediction has been this will take 6 months until around mid September to subside. The quicker we try to restart normal life the longer the pain will go on.

5 Replies


@CautiousObserver - very true. Yet here is what the chief Bozo is thinking now, according to today's NY Times article (see below*). And he's aided and abetted by "conservative economists"!

Is 14 days of pain from a lockdown (and lost GDP during these two weeks) more painful than not flattening the curve and having upwards of 60% of the US population infected by this terrible disease, which possibly sterilizes young men? Not to mention scores of seniors dying early? My intuition says no.

Note our Clown-In-Chief Trump has not even waited the full 14 days for the quarantine to work best. The bug brain believes in his 'gut' rather than what science says.

Email snippet:

Who are the 'many conservative economists' advising Trump? Have these conservative economists done a Cass Sunstein-type cost-benefit analysis of 'herd immunity' vs quarantine? Has Ferguson (UK)? Or is it 'obvious'?

Here in Greece the lockdown is an inconvenience, nothing more, though I have work to do with some real estate here and really wish I could go forward. Is it different for a leading edge economy?


  • NY Times
    Trump Considers Reopening Economy, Over Health Experts’ Objections
    Jim Tankersley, Maggie Haberman and Roni Caryn Rabin 6 hrs ago

WASHINGTON — As the United States entered Week 2 of trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus by shuttering large swaths of the economy, President Trump, Wall Street executives and many conservative economists began questioning whether the government had gone too far and should instead lift restrictions that are already inflicting deep pain on workers and businesses


"which possibly sterilizes young men?"

Please provide some proof of this. First I've heard of it.


Epidemic / pandemics are well known to have exponential cases over time. There is typically a pullback before the steepest part of curve occurs. Cancelling a state of emergency too early and allowing people to gather in large groups would definitely lead to a spike in cases.


Virus epidemics appear to happen in waves (see Spanish flu). So I'd not be surprised if in a few months it looks better, then out of the blue, another wave of the virus comes back possibly even stronger.


Japan should declare "bankruptcy" and then get rid of the old politicians and businessmen. Just like the US. There are many capable people there, but the refusal to face the past and the overprotection of older people has gone too far.

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