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Regional Economic Report (Summary) (July 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.

July 6, 2009
Bank of Japan

According to reports from each of the nine regions in Japan, economic conditions continued to be severe, although they had recently begun to stop worsening, with the pace of deterioration slowing.

Public investment increased. Exports and production had begun to turn upward mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments, although they were still at a low level. On the other hand, business fixed investment declined substantially, mainly due to the significant decrease in corporate profits. Private consumption continued to be weak as the employment and income situation became increasingly severe. Housing investment also decreased.

Assessments showed that the pace of economic deterioration was slower in all regions compared with the previous assessments. Most regions, however, emphasized that their economies continued to be in a severe situation: Hokkaido reported that its economy was stagnant; Tohoku, Hokuriku, and Kinki reported that their economic conditions were still severe; and Kanto-Koshinetsu and Kyushu-Okinawa inserted "after deteriorating significantly" into their assessments.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (July 2009)
Region Assessment in April 2009 Difference
between
assessments1
Assessment in July 2009
Hokkaido Economic conditions are becoming increasingly severe, and the economy is stagnant. upper right The economy is stagnant.
Tohoku Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly and becoming increasingly severe. upper right Economic conditions have begun to stop worsening, although they are still severe.
Hokuriku Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly. upper right There are signs that economic conditions have begun to stop worsening, although they are still severe.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly. upper right Economic conditions, after deteriorating significantly, have begun to stop worsening.
Tokai The level of economic activity is declining rapidly. upper right Economic conditions have begun to stop worsening, mainly because exports and production have picked up.
Kinki Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly, and the economy is in a severe situation. upper right Economic conditions have begun to stop worsening, although they are still severe.
Chugoku Economic conditions are deteriorating. upper right Economic conditions have begun to stop worsening.
Shikoku Economic conditions are deteriorating. upper right There are signs that economic activity has begun to stop worsening, although economic conditions as a whole have continued to deteriorate.
Kyushu-Okinawa Economic conditions are deteriorating significantly. upper right Economic conditions, after deteriorating significantly, have begun to stop worsening.
  1. With regard to the difference between assessments, arrows pointing to the upper right and lower right indicate changes in the pace of improvement or deterioration compared with the previous assessments, respectively.  For example, an acceleration in the pace of improvement or deceleration in the pace of deterioration is indicated with an arrow pointing to the upper right.  A horizontal arrow pointing to the right indicates that the pace of improvement or deterioration in economic conditions has remained unchanged compared with the previous assessments.

Private consumption continued to be weak in all regions, reflecting the severe employment and income situation.

While some policy effects had appeared in sales of household electrical appliances (such as flat-panel televisions) and passenger cars (such as hybrid cars), sales at large retail stores continued to be weak, mainly in apparel and accessories.  Travel and leisure expenses were weak in both domestic and overseas travel, partly due to effects of the new strain of influenza.

Compared with the previous assessment of private consumption, most regions assessed that, although some policy effects had appeared, private consumption had remained weak.

Business fixed investment continued to decline substantially in many regions, mainly due to the significant decrease in corporate profits.

By industry, in manufacturing, business fixed investment declined in sub-industries such as transportation equipment, electrical machinery, and general machinery. As for nonmanufacturing, investment declined mainly in sub-industries such as wholesaling and retailing.

Compared with the previous assessment of business fixed investment, Hokkaido, Tokai, and Kinki assessed that the pace of decline had accelerated, while other regions maintained their previous assessments.

Production began to turn upward, although its level was still low and regional differences remained.

By industry, although there were regional differences, the production level was further reduced in general machinery, mainly reflecting the decline in business fixed investment. On the other hand, some regions reported that, as exports began to turn upward due to progress in adjustments in overseas inventories, production cuts were easing or production was turning upward in transportation equipment (motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts), chemicals (such as ethylene and polyvinyl chloride), and electronic parts and devices (such as cellular phones and LCD devices).

At the time of the previous assessment, only Kanto-Koshinetsu had assessed that there were signs that production might stop declining in some sub-industries. However, the assessment in July showed that production had stopped declining or had begun to stop declining in Hokkaido, Hokuriku, and Kinki, and had picked up or had begun to turn upward in Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa.

The employment and income situation continued to deteriorate. Employment adjustments continued, and the ratio of job offers to applicants declined. Household income continued to decline mainly due to the decrease in employees' cash earnings such as non-scheduled cash earnings and special cash earnings.

Compared with the previous assessment of employment, Kinki and Kyushu-Okinawa reported that the pace of deterioration had accelerated. As for household income, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa reported that the pace of decline had accelerated.

Table :
Region Private
consumption
Business fixed
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Continues to be in a severe situation. Declining substantially. Has begun to stop declining. The employment situation continues to be severe. 
Household income continues to be in a severe situation, as firms have continued to restrain their employees' overtime working hours as part of their moves to cut back personnel expenses, in response to the deterioration in corporate profits.
Tohoku Continues to be weak as a whole, although some policy effects have appeared. Declining substantially, mainly due to the deterioration in corporate profits. Easing of production cuts is becoming widespread, reflecting progress in inventory adjustments. The employment situation continues to be severe.
Household income continues to decline.
Hokuriku Continues to be relatively weak as a whole, although there have been some signs of picking up due to policy effects. Declining substantially. Has stopped declining, mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments. The number of regular employees continues to be below the previous year's level, and the ratio of job offers to applicants is still on a declining trend due to the decrease in the number of job offers, but the pace of decline has moderated somewhat.  Household income has been below the previous year's level, mainly due to the decline in non-scheduled cash earnings and the number of regular employees.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Continues to be weak, as the employment and income situation has become increasingly severe. Declining substantially. Has begun to turn upward, after declining substantially, mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments both at home and abroad. The employment situation is deteriorating.
Household income is relatively weak, mainly reflecting the decrease in corporate profits.
Tokai Weakening. Declining substantially. Has picked up, although remaining at a low level. The employment and income situation is becoming increasingly severe. 
Household income as a whole is declining due to the decline in the number of regular employees and in wages, mainly in non-scheduled cash earnings.
Kinki Continues to be weak. Declining, as corporate profits decrease substantially. Has begun to stop declining.  Meanwhile, inventories have continued to decrease. The number of employees is relatively weak, while the ratio of job offers to applicants continues to decline. 
Household income is declining.
Chugoku Continues to be relatively weak. Declining substantially. Has recently picked up somewhat due to progress in inventory adjustments. The employment situation continues to be severe, but the pace of decline in the ratio of job offers to applicants has recently moderated.
Household income is relatively weak, reflecting the deterioration in corporate profits.
Shikoku Sluggish as a whole, although some effects of the additional economic measures have appeared. Declining substantially. Easing of production cuts is becoming widespread mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments, although production levels are still low. The employment situation is deteriorating.
Household income is becoming increasingly severe as reduction in summer bonus payments is widespread.
Kyushu-Okinawa Weakening. Declining. Has begun to turn upward, after declining substantially. Severity in the employment situation is increasing further.
Severity in household income is also increasing further.

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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