(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s government downgraded its assessment of the economy for the first time in three months in its monthly report for February, citing signs of weakness in private consumption and production.

The Cabinet Office said Wednesday the economy is recovering at a moderate pace, although some components are showing sluggishness. This marks the first overall downgrade since November, when a note was added to suggest that the recovery seemed to be “partially” stalled.

The government’s latest appraisal indicates that the economic recovery is likely to remain tepid after the economy unexpectedly slipped into recession at the end of last year, dragged down by anemic domestic demand.

The government cut its view on production for the first time in 11 months, citing a drop in manufacturing activities, with some automakers temporarily halting production and shipments. Daihatsu Motor Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corps., had to suspend domestic production and deliveries of multiple models from December over a vehicle certification scandal.

The report also contained a lower assessment of private consumption, consistent with recent data, as household spending declined in December from a year earlier for a 10th consecutive month.

The downgrade is an unwelcome development for the Bank of Japan as it weighs the timing for its first rate hike since 2007. Governor Kazuo Ueda said last week that the bank will continue to carefully parse data to judge whether a gradual economic recovery will continue.

The monthly economic assessment will at some point be the place where the government declares an end to decades-long deflation, according to a government official. The official indicated that the timing of the government’s declaration of victory over deflation need not coincide with a move by the BOJ to normalize policy by ending its negative rate.

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