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Regional Economic Report (Summary) (January 2010) *

  • 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.

January 18, 2010
Bank of Japan

According to reports from each of the nine regions in Japan, the economy had picked up in all regions, although regional differences in the pace and extent of the recovery remained.

Most regions noted differences in developments, particularly among industries and firms, and many regions continued to point to the low level of economic activity.

Compared with the assessment in October 2009, five regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chugoku, and Shikoku) maintained their assessments, while four regions (Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported an upward change in the economic trend.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (January 2010)
Region Assessment in October 2009 Difference
between
assessments 1
Assessment in January 2010
Hokkaido The economy has shown signs of picking up, although it remains stagnant. unchanged The economy has shown signs of picking up, although it remains stagnant.
Tohoku The economy, especially the manufacturing industry, has shown signs of picking up, although economic conditions as a whole remain severe. unchanged The economy, especially the manufacturing industry, has shown signs of picking up, although economic conditions as a whole remain severe.
Hokuriku The economy has shown some signs of picking up, although economic conditions as a whole remain severe. unchanged The economy has shown some signs of picking up, although economic conditions as a whole remain severe.
Kanto-Koshinetsu The economy is bottoming out and turning upward. upper right The economy has picked up moderately, although differences among regions and industries remain.
Tokai The economy has started to pick up. upper right The economy has picked up as a whole, although differences among industries and firms remain large.
Kinki The economy, with some lingering severity in employment, has shown signs of picking up. upper right The economy, with some lingering severity in employment, has picked up moderately.
Chugoku The economy, having leveled out, has shown some signs of picking up. unchanged The economy, having leveled out, has shown some signs of picking up.
Shikoku Economic conditions have stopped worsening as a whole, although they remain severe. unchanged Economic conditions have remained more or less unchanged as a whole, although there are some signs of picking up.
Kyushu-Okinawa The economy has leveled out with some signs of picking up. upper right The economy has picked up, albeit moderately.
  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.

Although all regions pointed to an increase in sales of household electrical appliances and passenger cars due to policy effects, private consumption as a whole remained weak in seven of the nine regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa). Meanwhile, Tokai and Chugoku reported an upward change in the trend of overall private consumption.

Aside from durable goods consumption, all regions reported that the declining trend in sales at large retail stores such as department stores had continued. As for tourism, four regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported a decline in the number of tourists, while Shikoku reported that the number had increased steadily.

Business fixed investment either continued to decline substantially or remained at a low level in all regions, mainly reflecting the deterioration in corporate profits. Kanto-Koshinetsu and Kyushu-Okinawa, however, pointed to some signs of a change in the downtrend in business fixed investment: Kanto-Koshinetsu reported that the acceleration in the pace of decline had been coming to a halt; and Kyushu-Okinawa reported that business fixed investment had begun to stop decreasing.

The uptrend in production continued in all regions, although there were regional differences in the pace and extent of the recovery.

By industry, all regions reported an uptrend in production in motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts as well as electronic parts and devices. Six regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Tokai, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported either an increase in production levels or continued high production levels for iron and steel, as did four regions (Hokuriku, Tokai, Chugoku, and Shikoku) for chemicals and three regions (Tohoku, Hokuriku, and Shikoku) for nonferrous metals. Meanwhile, four regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that production in general machinery had either leveled out or picked up, whereas three regions (Hokuriku, Chugoku, and Shikoku) reported either low production levels or continued substantial production cuts. As for paper and pulp, three regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, and Shikoku) reported either continued production cuts or low production levels.

As for the employment and income situation , all regions reported that the employment situation continued to be severe. The ratio of job offers to applicants in all regions remained at a low level, and in many regions the number of employees was on a declining trend. Meanwhile, Tokai reported that labor market conditions had improved.

Household income continued to decline in all regions, mainly due to reductions in winter bonus payments.

Table : Regional Economic Report (Summary) (January 2010)
Region Private
consumption
Business fixed
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Showing signs of picking up, mainly due to policy effects. Declining substantially. Has begun to pick up. The employment situation continues to be severe.
Household income continues to be in a severe situation, with a decline in winter bonus payments, as firms have continued 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. Has continued to pick up. There have been some signs that the employment situation has stopped worsening, although it continues to be severe.
Household income continues to decline.
Hokuriku Weak as a whole, although some signs of picking up have continued to appear due to policy effects. Declining substantially. Has picked up steadily as a whole, mainly due to progress in inventory adjustments and to the increase in exports, especially to Asian countries such as China. The employment situation continues to be severe, as the ratio of job offers to applicants remains at a low level and the number of new graduates to be hired in spring 2010 is expected to be significantly below the previous year's level.
Household income has remained below the previous year's level due to the decline in scheduled, non-scheduled, and special cash earnings.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Continues to be weak as a whole amid the continued severe employment and income situation, although effects of policy measures have appeared, mainly in durable goods consumption. Has continued to decline substantially reflecting weak corporate profits, but the acceleration in the pace of decline has been coming to a halt. Continues to increase due to progress in inventory adjustments both at home and abroad as well as policy effects. The employment situation continues to be severe.
Household income has continued to decline substantially, mainly reflecting the decrease in corporate profits.
Tokai Remains more or less unchanged as a whole: consumption of durable goods such as automobiles has picked up, while that of non-durable goods and services continue to be weak. Remaining at a low level. Increasing. Labor market conditions have improved, although the employment and income situation as a whole remains severe.
Kinki Consumption of durable goods has picked up due to policy effects, while that of other goods and services has remained weak amid a continued decline in household income. Declining, as corporate profits remain severe. Has picked up, reflecting the increase in exports and policy support to promote sales of energy-efficient electrical appliances.
Meanwhile, inventories have continued to decrease.
As for the employment situation, the number of employees has continued to decline, while the ratio of job offers to applicants remains at a low level. Wages have continued to be weak.
Household income has continued to decline.
Chugoku Showing signs of picking up, mainly in durable goods consumption, due to policy effects. Declining substantially. Has continued to pick up moderately. The employment situation continues to be severe: the ratio of job offers to applicants has been more or less unchanged, after declining substantially.
Household income continues to be relatively weak, mainly reflecting firms' cutback in personnel expenses in response to the deterioration in corporate profits.
Shikoku Relatively weak as a whole amid the severe employment and income situation, although sales of durable consumer goods have increased due to policy effects. Remaining at a low level. Has picked up moderately as a whole. The employment situation has been severe.
Household income has declined substantially, mainly due to the reduction in winter bonus payments.
Kyushu-Okinawa Continues to be weak as a whole, although there have been some signs of picking up mainly due to policy effects. Has begun to stop decreasing, although remaining at a low level. Increasing steadily, although at a moderate pace. The employment and household income situation has been severe. The downtrend in the number of regular workers and total cash earnings per person continues, although that in the ratio of job offers to applicants has recently come to a halt.

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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