Bhubaneswar, May 18 -- Tokyo: Japan's economic growth plunged into recession in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic squelched production, exports and spending, and fears are growing that worse times may lie ahead.

The Cabinet Office reported Monday a 3.4 per cent drop in the annual pace of seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product, or GDP, for the January-March period. The annual pace gives what the rate would be when continued for a year. For just the quarter, the drop was 0.9 per cent.

Exports dived 21.8 per cent. Private residential investments slipped nearly 17 per cent, and household consumption fell 3.1 per cent.

Analysts say things are expected to get worse as the world's third-largest economy endures its biggest...