Research and Studies

Home > Research and Studies > BOJ Reports & Research Papers > Regional Economic Report > Regional Economic Report (Summary)(January 2006)

Regional Economic Report (Summary)(January 2006)*

  • This report is based on data and other information gathered for the Bank of Japan's branch managers' meeting held today. The report summarizes the reports from all regional research divisions, mainly at the Bank's branches in Japan, and does not necessarily reflect a consensus of the Bank. The English translation is based on the Japanese original released on January 13, 2006.

January 13, 2006
Bank of Japan

According to reports from each of the nine regions in Japan, the economy is showing a recovery through much of the country, as signs of improvement in economic activities are seen in all regions, although there remain differences in the degree.

Specifically, the momentum for economic recovery is strengthening in all nine regions as a whole against the background of a distinct increase in production along with a continuous recovery in private demand. However, disparities remain in the degree of improvement among regions, as Hokkaido and Shikoku are still picking up gradually, while the Tokai, Kinki, and some other regions have started recovering promptly.

Compared with the assessment in October 2005, at the time of the last branch managers' meeting, all nine regions revised their assessment slightly upward, with a notable change in the assessment of Hokkaido from "remains virtually flat" to "shows signs of gradual picking up." As the background of the revision, many regions indicated that private consumption was "steady" or was "picking up" reflecting the improvement in the employment and income situation. The level of production was also rising particularly in IT-related goods and transportation equipment in most regions, although there seem to be differences among regions in the degree of the rise.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary)(January 2006)t
Region Assessment in January 2006 Revision of assessment from the previous meeting Assessment in October 2005
Hokkaido The economy shows signs of gradual picking up. Slightly upward. Economic activity remains virtually flat.
Tohoku The economy has been picking up gradually. Slightly upward. The economy has been picking up gradually, albeit with disparities among areas, industries, and firms.
Hokuriku The economy continues to recover gradually, as seen in a wider range of economic activities. Slightly upward. The economy continues to recover gradually.
Kanto-Koshinetsu The economy continues to recover. Slightly upward. The economy is recovering gradually.
Tokai The economy continues to recover. Slightly upward. The economy continues a recovery trend.
Kinki The economy continues to expand gradually. Slightly upward. The economy continues to expand gradually.
Chugoku The economy continues to recover as a whole. Slightly upward. The economy is recovering gradually.
Shikoku The economy continues to pick up gradually. Slightly upward. The economy continues to pick up gradually, and recently seems to be no longer at a pause in some areas.
Kyushu-Okinawa The economy is recovering steadily. Slightly upward. The economy is recovering gradually.

Private consumption has been "increasing" or "recovering" gradually in the Kinki and Tokai regions. Six other regions reported that it was "picking up," "steady," or "showing firmness." Meanwhile, Hokkaido also reported that private consumption has been "showing signs of picking up," compared to the previous assessment that it was "flat."

Growth in sales of passenger cars seems to have recently come to a pause, with sales slipping below the year-ago levels in all regions. In contrast, sales of household electrical appliances have been either "increasing" or "solid" in all regions, particularly in digital household appliances such as flat-panel televisions. Also, an increasing number of regions have recently reported slightly stronger sales at large-scale retail stores compared to previous periods, with many regions enjoying favorable sales of winter apparel boosted by lower temperatures. Meanwhile, some regions reported that holiday sales and domestic travel were favorable during the year-end and new year period.

Compared with the previous assessment on private consumption, the four regions of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, and Tokai revised their assessment slightly upward, suggesting a further expansion in areas in which private consumption has been generally "steady" or "picking up."

Business fixed investment has continued to be on an increasing trend in all regions.

Compared with the previous assessment on business fixed investment, the three regions of Hokuriku, Chugoku, and Shikoku revised their assessment slightly upward.

Production has been "increasing" or "following an increasing trend" in the four regions of Tokai, Kinki, Hokuriku, and Kyushu-Okinawa. Production has been gradually "increasing" or "picking up" in the three regions of Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Shikoku, and has "remained at a high level" in Chugoku. Meanwhile, Hokkaido reported production to have been "almost flat." By industry, transportation equipment, such as automobile-related goods for exports, has continued to increase, and the rise in the production level of electrical machinery and electronic parts and devices has been seen in broader areas. In contrast, reports suggest that some materials industries, including iron and steel and textiles, saw a drop in the production level.

Concerning production, Kyushu-Okinawa changed its assessment from "recently declining slightly" to "generally increasing," and seven other regions revised their assessment slightly upward, while Chugoku maintained its previous assessment.

As for the employment and income situation, labor market conditions have continued to improve in all regions. Despite this widespread improving trend, however, the difference in assessment among regions remained substantial, from "the ratio of job offers to applicants has been at a high level" in Tokai to Hokkaido reporting "improving, although it has remained severe."

Regarding income and wages, only the two regions of Tohoku and Hokkaido reported that they have been "sluggish" or have "almost stopped declining." The four regions of Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, and Kyushu-Okinawa reported that income and wages have been either "increasing" or "improving," and the three regions of Kanto-Koshinetsu, Chugoku, and Shikoku assessed them to have been either increasing or improving, albeit gradually, supported particularly by the rise in winter bonuses.

In comparison with the previous assessment on the employment and income situation, all regions maintained their previous assessment, excluding the two regions of Hokuriku and Chugoku which revised their assessment slightly upward.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary)(January 2006)
Region Private Consumption Business Fixed Investment Production Employment and Income
Hokkaido Showing signs of picking up. Increasing, bolstered by stepped-up production capacity and streamlining. Almost flat. The employment situation has been improving, although it has remained severe.
Wages have almost stopped declining.
Tohoku Showing firmness. Continued to increase. Picking up gradually on the whole. The employment situation has been on a gradual improving trend on the whole.
Household income has been sluggish as a whole.
Hokuriku Improving more firmly,despite some differences among items. Increasing steadily. Following an increasing trend on the whole. The employment and wage situation has continued to improve.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Remained steady. Continued to increase against the background of high corporate profits.Increasing gradually. The employment situation has been improving.
Household income has continued to increase gradually.
Tokai Recovering gradually. Continued to increase steadily. Increasing. Regarding the employment situation, the ratio of job offers to applicants has been at a high level, and the number of full-time employees has been increasing.
Household income has been improving.
Kinki Increasing gradually as a whole. Continued to increase. Increasing. The employment situation has been improving gradually.
Household income has generally been increasing.
Chugoku Picking up. Increasing. Remained at a high level. The employment situation has continued to improve.
Household income has been on a gradual uptrend.
Shikoku Remained steady as a whole. Recovering, mainly in manufacturing with strong profits. Picking up gradually. The employment situation has been on a gradual improving trend.
Household income has continued to recover on the whole.
Kyushu-Okinawa Picking up gradually. Increasing mainly in manufacturing. Generally increasing. The employment situation has continued to be on a gradual improving trend.
Household income has generally continued to improve.

Appendix: Prefectures Included in Each Region

Table : Appendix: Prefectures Included in Each Region
Region Prefectures
Hokkaido Hokkaido
Tohoku Miyagi, Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, and Fukushima
Hokuriku Ishikawa, Toyama, and Fukui
Kanto-Koshinetsu Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, and Nagano
Tokai Aichi, Shizuoka, Gifu, and Mie
Kinki Osaka, Kyoto, Shiga, Nara, Wakayama, and Hyogo
Chugoku Hiroshima, Okayama, Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi
Shikoku Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime, and Kochi
Kyushu-Okinawa Fukuoka, Saga, Oita, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa

For further information, please contact:

Masayuki Shimizu (Mr.), Regional Economy, Research and Statistics Department
Tel: +81-3-3277-2649