URGENT: Japan upgrades key economic assessment for 1st time in 17 months

© Kyodo News

Japan's government upgraded Tuesday its key assessment of the country's economy for the first time in 17 months, citing a rebound in private consumption fueled by low numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

The Japanese economy "shows movements of picking up recently as the severe situation due to the novel coronavirus is gradually easing," the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report for December. In the previous month, it said the economy was showing "weakness."