Japan has reduced its official economic outlook after a recent outbreak of the Omicron variant of coronavirus forced reinstatement of restrictions and disrupted a potential recovery of service consumption. Among key economic elements, the government downgraded its evaluation of private consumption for the first time since September, saying the recovery appeared to be stalling lately. The government said restaurants, transport, hotels, travel consumption has been weak since late January. Private sector economists have trimmed Japan's current quarter growth forecast to near zero, if not contraction, following a solid annualised 5.4% gain in the period from October to December last year. The government made its first upgrade of capital expenditure assessment in 10 months, reflecting robust business spending figures in fourth-quarter gross domestic product data.
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