A pedestrian walks through heavy rain in Kirishima, southwestern Japan. Picture: VIA REUTERS/KYODO
A pedestrian walks through heavy rain in Kirishima, southwestern Japan. Picture: VIA REUTERS/KYODO

Japan was hit by its biggest economic slump on record in the second quarter — growth sank 27.8% — as the pandemic emptied shopping malls and crushed demand for cars and other exports, bolstering the case for bolder policy action to prevent a deeper recession.

The third consecutive quarter of declines knocked the size of GDP to decade-low levels, wiping out the benefits brought by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics stimulus policies deployed in late 2012.

Reuters

Take your vitamins

Sales of vitamin and mineral supplements have risen sharply during the pandemic, boosting consumer goods multinationals such as Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser that have piled into the sector in recent years.

US dietary supplement sales were 16.7% higher than a year ago in the four weeks to July 11 at £781m, according to data provider Nielsen, having risen as much as 51.2% in March.

Financial Times

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