A sharp drop in global demand and disruptions through the supply chain caused by COVID-19 has hit Japanese exports, especially in the auto industry. This led to a sharp drop in production and business activities which weakened labor demand, hurting the households’ income through limiting work hours. Japan’s real GDP may continue to contract and between April and June 2020, it saw a decrease of 27.8%, the biggest decline in the country’s history.1
Japan was able to contain COVID-19 cases modestly in the first quarter of 2020. However, the spread of COVID-19 accelerated in the second quarter of 2020, leading a state of emergency in early April. This state of emergency was lifted in late May and businesses were able to gradually open, which prevented a surge in the unemployment rate.
In the June monetary policy meeting, Bank of Japan (BOJ) decided to increase the cap on a special program to support corporate financing. BOJ announced it would continue the Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing with yield curve control, aiming to achieve its target of 2% inflation in a stable manner.
The first half of 2020 had 1,808 M&A transactions with a transaction value of $27.0 billion. The number of M&A transactions was down 13.2% from the same period for the prior year.1
In the first half of 2020, 34 companies went public, compared to the 30 IPOs in the first half of 2019, with the services industry leasing with the most IPOs.1
1 Company press releases, Cabinet Office of Japan and IHS Markit Japan Economic Outlook as of June 2020