EPA gives economy even bleaker grade in Sept. report

The Economic Planning Agency (EPA) further downgrades its assessment of the Japanese economy in its September report released Tuesday, Sept. 8, saying the economy is in ''a prolonged slump and a very severe situation.'' The government report, which is based mainly on July data, cites a further fall in housing starts and the plunge of Tokyo stock prices as the main factors on which it based the gloomy diagnosis of the nation's economy. The photo shows EPA chief Taichi Sakaiya (far L) attending a meeting of cabinet ministers concerned in the Diet building. ==Kyodo

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