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Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2009)*

  • 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 Bank of Japan's branch managers' meeting held today. The English translation is based on the Japanese original.

April 17, 2009
Bank of Japan

According to reports from each of the nine regions in Japan, economic conditions had been deteriorating significantly, although there were slight regional differences.

Exports decreased substantially, mainly due to the deterioration in overseas economic conditions. Business fixed investment declined substantially amid the substantial decrease in corporate profits and the significant deterioration in business sentiment. Private consumption weakened as the employment and income situation became increasingly severe. Housing investment decreased. Under these circumstances, production decreased substantially.

Assessments showed that economic conditions in Chugoku and Shikoku were deteriorating, while those in Tohoku, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, and Kyushu-Okinawa were deteriorating significantly.

Compared with the assessments in January 2009, at the time of the last branch managers' meeting, Tokai and Chugoku maintained their previous assessments. However, all the other regions revised their assessments downward, mainly reflecting the fact that business fixed investment had declined substantially and private consumption had weakened as the employment and income situation became increasingly severe.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2009)
Region [Assessment in April 2009]
Revised upward: none
Unchanged: two regions
Revised downward: seven regions
Revision of
assessment
from the
previous
meeting
[Assessment in January 2009]
Revised upward: none
Unchanged: none
Revised downward: nine regions
Hokkaido Economic conditions are becoming increasingly severe, and the economy is stagnant. Downward. Economic conditions are becoming increasingly severe.
Tohoku Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly and becoming increasingly severe. Downward. Economic conditions are deteriorating.
Hokuriku Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly. Downward. Economic conditions are deteriorating.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly. Downward. Economic conditions are deteriorating.
Tokai The level of economic activity is declining rapidly. Unchanged. The level of economic activity is declining rapidly.
Kinki Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly, and the economy is in a severe situation. Downward. Economic conditions are deteriorating.
Chugoku Economic conditions are deteriorating. Unchanged. Economic conditions are deteriorating.
Shikoku Economic conditions are deteriorating. Downward. Weakness in economic activity has become widespread.
Kyushu-Okinawa Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly. Downward. Economic conditions are deteriorating.

Private consumption was in a severe situation in the Hokkaido region. Other regions also saw weakness in private consumption, reporting that it was "weakening" or weak.

At large retail stores, sales of food, which had been firm, seemed to be showing signs of a slowdown in their pace of increase, and sales of apparel, general merchandise, and accessories continued to be relatively weak. Sales of household electrical appliances remained steady, but their increase seemed to have leveled off. Meanwhile, sales of passenger cars dropped further, and travel expenses were relatively weak in general.

Compared with the previous assessment of private consumption, Hokkaido, Kinki, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa maintained their previous assessments, while the other five regions revised their assessments downward (Kanto-Koshinetsu and Tokai: slightly downward; Tohoku, Hokuriku, and Shikoku: downward).

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2009)
Comparison with previous assessment Revised upward: none Unchanged: four regions Revised downward: five regions

As for business fixed investment, most regions reported that it was "declining substantially" or "declining" mainly reflecting the substantial decrease in corporate profits and the significant deterioration in business sentiment.

Business fixed investment declined substantially as a whole. By industry, in nonmanufacturing, some regions reported that infrastructure-related investment, mainly in electric and gas utilities, was projected to remain at a high level. On the other hand, in manufacturing, moves restraining investment, especially investment to increase production capacity, were becoming more widespread.

Compared with the previous assessment of business fixed investment, Hokuriku maintained its previous assessment, whereas the other eight regions revised their assessments downward (Tokai: slightly downward; the other seven regions: downward).

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2009)
Comparison with previous assessment Revised upward: none Unchanged: one region Revised downward: eight regions

Production was "declining substantially" or "declining further" in most regions.

By industry, although there were regional differences, both processing industries (such as electronic parts and devices, transportation equipment, and general machinery) and materials industries (such as iron and steel, and paper and pulp) saw substantial declines across a wide range of sub-industries. Some regions reported that there were signs that production might stop declining in some sub-industries (Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Chugoku), mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments. Among other regions, Kinki reported that the increase in inventories was leveling off.

Compared with the previous assessment of production, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, and Kinki maintained their previous assessments, whereas the other six regions revised their assessments downward (Hokkaido: slightly downward; Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa: downward).

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2009)
Comparison with previous assessment Revised upward: none Unchanged: three regions Revised downward: six regions

Employment was "deteriorating" or "becoming increasingly severe" in many regions, mainly since production in the manufacturing sector had declined substantially.

Household income was declining or "relatively weak," mainly due to the decline in overtime payments.

Compared with the previous assessment of employment, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, and Chugoku maintained their previous assessments, whereas the other six regions revised their assessments downward (Hokkaido, Tokai, and Shikoku: slightly downward; Tohoku, Hokuriku, and Kyushu-Okinawa: downward). As for household income, Hokkaido, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Chugoku maintained their previous assessments, whereas the other six regions revised their assessments downward (Kinki and Shikoku: slightly downward; Tohoku, Hokuriku, Tokai, and Kyushu-Okinawa: downward).

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2009)
Comparison with previous assessment
(employment)
Revised upward: none Unchanged: three regions Revised downward: six regions
Comparison with previous assessment
(household income)
Revised upward: none Unchanged: three regions Revised downward: six regions
Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2009)
Region Private
consumption
Business fixed
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Continues to be in a severe situation. Declining. Declining further. The employment situation is severe.
Household income continues to be in a severe situation.
Tohoku Weakening further. Declining substantially. Declining substantially. The employment situation is deteriorating. Household income continues to decline.
Hokuriku Weakness is broad-based. Declining substantially. Continues to decline substantially; production in some sub-industries seems to show a slight moderation in the pace of decline. The ratio of job offers to applicants is on a declining trend, and the number of regular employees is below the previous year's level.
Household income has declined at a faster pace.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Weakening. Declining substantially. Declining substantially; there are signs that production may stop declining in some sub-industries mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments. The employment situation is deteriorating.
Household income is relatively weak.
Tokai Weakening. Declining. Declining sharply. The labor market is slackening.
Household income is declining as a whole.
Kinki Continues to be weak. Declining at a faster pace, although still at a high level. Continues to decline substantially. Meanwhile, the increase in inventories is leveling off. Growth in the number of employees is relatively weak.
Household income is declining gradually.
Chugoku Weakening further. Declining substantially. Declining substantially. The employment situation is becoming increasingly severe.
Household income is weakening.
Shikoku Declining. Declining substantially. Declining substantially. The employment situation is deteriorating.
Weakness in household income is becoming widespread.
Kyushu-Okinawa Weakening. Declining. Declining at a much faster pace. The employment situation is becoming increasingly severe.
Household income is becoming increasingly severe.

Appendix: Prefectures Included in Each Region

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

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