The Japanese government on Monday downgraded its economic assessment for the first time in six months, saying the export-led recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is losing momentum due to the global slowdown. \"The Japanese economy is still picking up, although the pace of recovery is decelerating, while difficulties continue to prevail due to the Great East Japan Earthquake,\" the Cabinet Office said in its monthly report for October. The report also lowered its assessment of exports and factory output amid slowing overseas growth. \"The production is still picking up but the pace decelerates, and exports are leveling off,\" it noted. The office expressed concern over the strong yen, which makes Japanese exports less competitive overseas, and slump in Asian financial markets triggered by the Eurozone debt crisis. The Cabinet maintained its view on the global economy for the second straight month, saying \"It is weakening as a whole.\"