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Japan braces for worst postwar economic slump, pandemic tests policy response

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s economy braced for its worst postwar slump even as first-quarter GDP contracted less than initially thought, as the coronavirus crisis slams the brakes on global growth and raises pressure on Tokyo to cushion the blow to business and consumers.

Banks are doing their bit to help as lending rose at the fastest annual pace on record in May, a sign companies were tapping loans to meet immediate funding needs to survive slumping sales from the pandemic.(Reuters)