The bottom may fall out of Japan's economy if inbound tourism and domestic demand continue to slump, the head of the country's banking industry lobby said on Thursday, adding the economy has been hit by the coronavirus more seriously than expected.
The remark came as global stock markets plummeted due to concerns over the coronavirus that has claimed nearly 9,000 lives worldwide.
The world's third-largest economy shrank an annualised 7.1% in the three months through December, revised data showed earlier this month, more than a preliminary reading of 6.3%.
"The situation is much more serious than I expected at the beginning of the year," said Makoto Takashima, chairman of the Japanese Bankers Association and the head of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).
Takashima welcomed the Bank of Japan's move on Monday to ease monetary policy, saying it could contribute to market stability.
The central bank pledged to buy risky assets such as exchange-traded funds (ETF) at double the current pace.© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.