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Bank of Japan : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (July 2013)

07/04/2013 | 01:58am US/Eastern
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* This report summarizes the reports from all regional research divisions, mainly at the Bank's branches in Japan, and is based on data and other information gathered for the meeting of general managers of the Bank's branches held today. The English translation is based on the Japanese original.

July 4, 2013
Bank of Japan

Compared with the last assessment in April 2013, eight regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported upward revisions to their economic assessments from the previous report. Many regions noted that the economy had been picking up against the background that domestic demand had increased its resilience with the improvement in household and business sentiment and that overseas demand was heading toward a pick-up.

The Tohoku region, meanwhile, reported that its economic assessment had remained unchanged from the previous report, noting that the economy had begun to recover.

Region Assessment in April 2013 Changes
from the
previous
assessment1
Assessment in July 2013
Chugoku The economy has started to pick up as a whole, albeit with differences depending on the industry and size of firms. The economy has been picking up moderately as a whole.
Shikoku The economy has been resilient, although it has shown some signs of weakness. The economy has begun to pick up.
Kyushu-Okinawa The economy has continued to be more or less unchanged as a whole, but it has shown some signs of picking up, mainly in domestic demand-oriented sectors. The economy has been picking up.

As for public investment, the Tohoku region reported that it was increasing significantly, and eight regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that it was increasing or had begun to increase.

Four regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Tokai) reported that business fixed investmentwas increasing or increasing moderately, and three regions (Kinki, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that it was picking up or had begun to pick up.  The Shikoku region reported that business fixed investment had shown increased resilience, disregarding some weakness observed at some firms, and the Hokuriku region noted that it had been resilient.  Meanwhile, many regions reported that business sentiment was improving.

As for private consumption, assisted mainly by the improvement in consumer sentiment, five regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it had begun to pick up moderately or had shown signs of picking up, and the Kanto-Koshinetsu region noted that it had shown increased resilience.  Meanwhile, three regions (Tohoku, Chugoku, and Shikoku) reported that private consumption had been resilient or more or less unchanged.

As for sales at large retail stores, many regions reported that sales at department stores were increasing or that signs of picking up had become widespread, mainly due to firm sales of high-end goods.  On the other hand, most regions noted that sales at supermarkets had continued to be relatively weak.

Many regions reported that automobile saleswere picking up or had been firm.

Many regions reported that sales of household electrical applianceshad been sluggish: sales of televisions and PCs had been sluggish, while those of smartphones and energy-efficient white goods were firm.  On the other hand, some regions noted that overall sales were more or less unchanged.

Many regions reported that travel-related demandwas picking up or had been firm.

As for housing investment, three regions (Tohoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was increasing, and the Kinki region noted that it was increasing moderately.  Five regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, and Chugoku) reported that housing investment was picking up or had continued to pick up.

As for production, against the background that domestic demand had increased its resilience and that overseas demand was heading toward a pick-up, the Hokuriku and Tokai regions reported that it was increasing as a whole or had been on an increasing trend, and five regions (Hokkaido, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that it was picking up or picking up moderately.  The Tohoku and Shikoku regions reported that production had stopped decreasing and appeared to have headed toward a pick-up.

By industry, six regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that production in transportation equipmenthad been on an increasing trend or was picking up, and four regions (Hokkaido, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that production in iron and steelwas picking up.  Assisted mainly by a rise in construction-related demand, the Hokuriku and Shikoku regions noted that production in metal productshad been on a moderate increasing trend, while the Hokkaido region reported that production in ceramics, stone and clayhad continued to be at a high level.  Some regions reported that production in general machineryhad stopped decreasing or had shown signs of picking up.  Meanwhile, some regions noted that production in electronic parts and deviceshad continued to be relatively weak, while there were reports that it was increasing or had begun to pick up.

As for the employment and income situation, many regions reported that it was improving moderately, notably in supply and demand conditions in the labor market, despite the severity.

Many regions reported that supply and demand conditions in the labor market were improving moderately.  As for household income, three regions (Kinki, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was generally at the previous year's level or had been more or less unchanged.  Three other regions (Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, and Chugoku) noted that household income had continued to be relatively weak, while the Hokuriku region reported that it had begun to pick up.

Region Public investment Business fixed
investment
Private
consumption
Housing
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Has begun to increase Increasing moderately Has shown signs of picking up amid the improvement in consumer sentiment, despite fluctuations caused by weather conditions Picking up Picking up, due to a recovery in demand both at home and abroad The labor market has been on an improving trend, despite the severity in supply and demand conditions compared to other regions. In terms of household income, non-scheduled cash earnings are increasing.
Tohoku Increasing significantly, primarily in construction orders related to the restoration following the earthquake disaster Increasing Has been resilient Increasing, partly due to reconstruction demand stemming from the disaster Has stopped decreasing and appears to have headed toward a pick-up The employment and household income situation is improving
Hokuriku Has maintained an increasing trend, particularly in construction orders for facilities related to the Hokuriku bullet train line and those related to the strengthening of elementary and junior high school buildings against earthquakes Has been resilient, particularly in manufacturing Has shown signs of picking up Picking up Increasing as a whole, as the effects of the deceleration in overseas economies wane The employment situation has begun to pick up. Household income has begun to pick up.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Increasing Has been on an increasing trend, particularly in nonmanufacturing Has shown increased resilience Picking up steadily Picking up moderately Household income has remained relatively weak, but supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving moderately
Tokai Increasing Increasing steadily Has shown signs of picking up Picking up Has been on an increasing trend Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving
Kinki Increasing Has begun to pick up as a whole, with the gradual increase of positive developments in manufacturing, in addition to the resilience in nonmanufacturing Has begun to pick up moderately, assisted mainly by the improvement in consumer sentiment Increasing moderately Picking up moderately Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving moderately. Meanwhile, despite the weakness in wages, household income has remained more or less unchanged with fluctuations smoothed out.
Chugoku Increasing, due to the effects of various economic measures Has begun to pick up, particularly in nonmanufacturing Has been more or less unchanged Has continued to pick up Has begun to pick up The employment situation has shown signs of picking up, notably in non-regular employment, and the active job openings-to-applicants ratio is improving. Household income has been relatively weak but appears to have headed toward a pick-up, as shown in a rise in summer bonuses for fiscal 2013 at some firms.
Shikoku Increasing Has shown increased resilience, disregarding some weakness observed at some firms Has shown some signs of picking up, while it has continued to be more or less unchanged as a whole Increasing Has stopped decreasing and appears to have headed toward a pick-up The employment and household income situation is improving moderately, notably in supply and demand conditions in the labor market
Kyushu-Okinawa Has continued to increase Picking up, particularly in nonmanufacturing Has shown signs of picking up, assisted mainly by the improvement in consumer sentiment Increasing Picking up The employment and household income situation has remained severe, but supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving, particularly in nonmanufacturing
Appendix: Prefectures Included in Each Region
Region Prefectures
Hokkaido Hokkaido
Tohoku Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, and Fukushima
Hokuriku Toyama, Ishikawa, and Fukui
Kanto-Koshinetsu Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, and Nagano
Tokai Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, and Mie
Kinki Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, and Wakayama
Chugoku Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi
Shikoku Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime, and Kochi
Kyushu-Okinawa Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa
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