Research and Studies

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

Regional Economic Report (Summary) (July 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 July 6, 2006.

July 6, 2006
Bank of Japan

According to reports from each of the nine regions in Japan, the economy as a whole continues to recover steadily as almost all regions continue to be on the expansion or recovery trend.

Specifically, business fixed investment has been on an increasing trend in all regions, in a situation where private consumption as a whole has been firm, although there have been differences among regions. The level of housing investment and exports has also risen in many regions. Production has continued to increase reflecting the positive movements of final demand as described above, and the economy as a whole continues to recover steadily. However, degrees of improvement still differ among regions such as Hokkaido, which reported that "the pickup in the economy slowed," and Tokai and Kinki, which reported that the economy has been expanding.

Compared with the assessment in April 2006, at the time of the last branch managers' meeting, seven out of nine regions maintained their previous assessment. Tohoku revised its assessment slightly upward due to the increase in business fixed investment and production. Hokkaido revised its assessment slightly downward, since recovery in private consumption has weakened.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (July 2006)
Region Assessment in July 2006 Revision of
assessment
from the
previous
meeting
Assessment in April 2006
Hokkaido The pickup in the economy slowed. Slightly downward. The economy continues to show signs of gradual picking up.
Tohoku The economy is recovering gradually. Slightly upward. The economy has been picking up gradually.
Hokuriku The economy is recovering steadily. Unchanged. The economy is recovering steadily.
Kanto-Koshinetsu The economy continues to recover steadily. Unchanged. The economy continues to recover steadily.
Tokai The economy is expanding. Unchanged. The economy is expanding.
Kinki The economy continues to expand. Unchanged. The economy continues to expand.
Chugoku The economy continues to recover as a whole. Unchanged. The economy continues to recover as a whole.
Shikoku The economy continues to show signs of gradual picking up. Unchanged. The economy continues to show signs of gradual picking up.
Kyushu-Okinawa The economy continues to recover. Unchanged. The economy is recovering steadily.

Private consumption has gradually been "increasing" or "recovering" in the Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, and Kinki regions, and "steady" or "picking up" in most other regions. Meanwhile, Hokkaido reported that "recovery has weakened," mainly because of the delay in the improvement of household income.

Looking at major indicators of consumption, sales of passenger cars have recently shown some weakness. Sales of household electrical appliances have continued to be either "increasing" or "solid," particularly in digital household appliances such as flat-panel televisions and high-value-added white goods. Sales at large retail stores fell in April and May, particularly in apparel against the background of the unfavorably cold weather, but rose in accessories (such as designer products), suggesting that sales have been solid as a trend. Meanwhile, some regions reported that the number of tourists has exceeded that of last year, and outlays for travel, including summer holiday bookings, have remained solid.

Compared with the previous assessment on private consumption, Hokkaido revised its assessment slightly downward.

Business fixed investment has continued to be on an increasing trend in all regions, reflecting a favorable domestic and external demand and high corporate profits.

Compared with the previous assessment on business fixed investment, Tohoku revised its assessment upward, and Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Kinki revised their assessment slightly upward.

Regarding production, most regions reported that production has been increasing. Meanwhile, Hokkaido reported that production has been "picking up gradually."

By industry, production continued to increase in the processing industries, particularly electronic parts and devices used for digital household appliances and mobile phones, electrical machinery, and also transportation equipment mainly for exports, such as automobile-related goods. In contrast, there were differences in trends among materials industries. While increases were observed in materials such as iron and steel, the level of production for textiles continued to be low.

Compared with the previous assessment, Tohoku revised its assessment upward, and Shikoku revised its assessment slightly upward.

As for the employment and income situation, the improvement has continued in all regions, as evident by the increase in new job offers reflecting the step-up in production level. However, the differences in assessments of labor market conditions among regions have continued to be substantial, from "the ratio of job offers to applicants has been at a high level" in Tokai to "improving, although it has remained severe" in Hokkaido. Despite the differences in degree, many regions reported that household income has been either increasing or improving, supported by improvements in labor market conditions and high corporate profits. On the other hand, Hokkaido reported that household income has been "somewhat weak," and Tohoku reported that it was "sluggish."

On the employment and income situation, all regions maintained their previous assessment.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (July 2006)
Region Private
consumption
Business fixed
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Recovery has weakened. Steady. Picking up gradually. The employment situation has been improving, although it has remained severe.
Household income has been somewhat weak.
Tohoku Steady. Increasing. Increasing. The employment situation has continued to be on a recovery trend.
Household income has been sluggish as a whole.
Hokuriku Picking up. Expected to increase above the high level of 2005. Remains on an increasing trend. The employment situation has continued to improve.
Household income has been improving.
Kanto-Koshinetsu On a gradual increasing trend. Increasing steadily. Continues to be on an increasing trend. The employment situation has continued to improve.
Household income has continued to increase gradually.
Tokai Recovering gradually. Continues to increase steadily. Increasing steadily. 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. Increasing substantially. Increasing. The employment situation has been improving.
Household income has begun to increase.
Chugoku Picking up. At a high level. On an increasing trend. The employment situation has continued to improve.
Household income has been on a gradual uptrend.
Shikoku Remains steady as a whole. Recovering, mainly in manufacturing. Recovering gradually. The employment situation has been gradually improving.
Household income has continued to recover gradually on the whole.
Kyushu-Okinawa Picking up gradually as a trend. Remains at a high level. Increasing. The employment situation has continued to be on a gradual improving trend.
Household income has continued to exceed the previous year's level.

Appendix: Prefectures Included in Each Region

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

For further information, please contact:

Regional Economy, Research and Statistics Department
Tel: +81-3-3277-2649