In Tokyo, Japan, a woman shops at a pharmacy in a market on March 3, 2023, as seen in this file photo taken by REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou. The Government of Japan downgraded its view on the economy for November for the first time in 10 months, citing weak demand’s impact on capital spending and consumer expenditure. This adjustment by the Cabinet Office followed data that showed the economy had shrunk in July-September, the first decrease in three quarters due to waning demand. The government reported moderate economic recovery but noted some areas showed stalemate and said that domestic demand, such as corporate investment and consumer spending, lacks strength. The official retained its assessment that consumer expenditure was “picking up” in November, but inflation squeezed consumer goods spending, while spending on services such as eating out continued to trend upward. In response, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government compiled a package of measures to soften inflation’s hit to the economy, involving spending of more than 17 trillion yen ($113 billion). The government expressed expectations for the economy to continue to recover moderately but warned against risks such as those from global monetary tightening and the Chinese economy. The report also advised to closely monitor rising prices, the Middle East situation, and financial market fluctuations.