Japan Bounces Back to Economic Growth as Coronavirus Fears Recede

TOKYO — Restaurants are full. Malls are teeming. People are traveling. And Japan’s economy has begun to grow again as consumers, fatigued from more than two years of the pandemic, moved away from precautions that have kept coronavirus infections at among the lowest levels of any wealthy country.

Lockdowns in China, soaring inflation and brutally high energy prices could not suppress Japan’s economic expansion as domestic consumption of goods and services shot up in the second three months of the year. The country’s economy, the third largest after the United States and China, grew at an annualized rate of 2.2 percent during that period, government data showed on Monday.

The second-quarter result followed growth of 0 percent — revised from an initial reading of a 1 percent decline — during the first three months of the year, when consumers retreated to their homes in the face of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

After that initial Omicron wave burned out, shoppers…

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This article was written by Ben Dooley and Hisako Ueno and originally published on www.nytimes.com