Research and Studies

Home > Research and Studies > BOJ Reports & Research Papers > Regional Economic Report > Regional Economic Report (Summary) (Apr. 2012)

Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2012)*

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

April 12, 2012
Bank of Japan

Compared with the last assessment in January 2012, six regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that their economic assessments had not changed significantly from the previous report.Specifically, these regions noted that -- mainly due to the effects of the slowdown in overseas economies and the appreciation of the yen -- the pace of the pick-up remained moderate, the economy had been more or less unchanged, or the economy had paused.

The Tokai and Shikoku regions, on the other hand, reported that their economic assessments had improved from the previous report: the Tokai region noted that the economy had continued to pick up; and the Shikoku region noted the economy had been picking up as a whole, as some weakness observed on the production side had begun to ease.

Meanwhile, the Tohoku region reported that developments in economic activity observed at the time of the last assessment had continued, noting that the economy had been recovering as a whole, as evident from the following factors: (1) economic activity in non-stricken areas had been above pre-earthquake levels due to the demand stemming from the earthquake disaster; and (2) there were signs of resumption in economic activity even in the stricken areas.

Table : Regional Economic Report
Region Assessment in January 2012 Changes
from the
previous
assessment1
Assessment in April 2012
Hokkaido The economy is more or less unchanged, as the pick-up in economic activity is pausing. unchanged The economy has been more or less unchanged.
Tohoku The economy has been recovering as a whole, as evident from the following factors: (1) economic activity in non-stricken areas has exceeded pre-earthquake levels due to the demand stemming from the disaster; and (2) there are signs of resumption in economic activity even in some of the stricken areas. unchanged The economy has been recovering as a whole, as evident from the following factors: (1) economic activity in non-stricken areas has been above pre-earthquake levels due to the demand stemming from the disaster; and (2) there are signs of resumption in economic activity even in the stricken areas.
Hokuriku The economy continues to pick up as a whole, although the pace of the pick-up is moderating in some aspects. unchanged The economy continues to pick up as a whole, although the pace of the pick-up is moderating in some aspects.
Kanto-Koshinetsu The pick-up in economic activity appears to be pausing, mainly due to the effects of the slowdown in overseas economies and the appreciation of the yen. unchanged The economy is more or less unchanged, mainly due to the effects of the slowdown in overseas economies and the appreciation of the yen.
Tokai The economy continues to pick up, but the pace of the pick-up is moderating. upper right The economy has continued to pick up.
Kinki The economy has paused. unchanged The economy has paused.
Chugoku The pick-up in economic activity is pausing. unchanged The economy is more or less unchanged.
Shikoku The economy has been on a pick-up trend as a whole, although there appear to be signs of weakness on the production side. upper right The economy has been picking up as a whole, as some weakness observed on the production side has begun to ease.
Kyushu-Okinawa The pace of the pick-up in economic activity has slowed, as the effects of the slowdown in overseas economies are beginning to weigh on production. unchanged The economy continues to pick up as a whole, although the pace of the pick-up remains moderate.
  1. With regard to the changes from the previous assessment, arrows pointing to the upper right or 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.

As for public investment, the Tohoku region reported that it was increasing significantly, and the Kanto-Koshinetsu region noted that it was increasing.  The Tokai, Kinki, and Shikoku regions also reported that it had begun to stop declining.  On the other hand, the four other regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that public investment had been declining.

As for business fixed investment,  six regions (Tohoku, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Chugoku, and Shikoku) reported that it was picking up or increasing, reflecting maintenance and replacement investment, investment in development of new products, and restoration-related investment following the disaster.  The Hokkaido region also reported that business fixed investment had been solid as a whole, but the Kinki and Kyushu-Okinawa regions reported that it had been relatively weak.  In the meantime, a few regions reported that business sentiment was improving reflecting the increase in production, whereas a few other regions reported that it had become cautious or the improvement in business sentiment had paused.

Six regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, and Shikoku) reported a pick-up or continued increase in private consumption , and the Kyushu-Okinawa region also reported that consumption had been solid.Background factors in these reports included the effects of measures to stimulate demand for automobiles and demand stemming from the disaster in the stricken areas.The Hokkaido and Hokuriku regions, on the other hand, noted that private consumption had been more or less unchanged.

By goods, as for sales at large retail stores, most regions reported there were signs that sales were picking up or had stopped declining due partly to steady sales of expensive goods amid an improvement in consumer sentiment.  The Hokkaido region, meanwhile, reported that sales were around the previous year's level, and the Hokuriku region noted that sales had been more or less unchanged.  All regions reported that automobile sales had been picking up or had been increasing due to the effects of an introduction of fuel-efficient vehicles and a reintroduction of subsidies for purchasers of environmentally friendly cars, in addition to the removal of supply-side constraints.  On the other hand, most regions reported that sales of household electrical appliances had been weak or declining, despite favorable sales of smartphones and seasonal products such as air conditioners, as a result of the reverse following a sharp increase in demand -- particularly for flat-panel televisions -- prior to the termination of analog-TV broadcasting.  The Tohoku region, meanwhile, noted that the sales had exceeded the previous year's level, mainly due to replacement demand stemming from the disaster and to a sharp increase in demand for flat-panel televisions prior to the termination of analog-TV broadcasting in the stricken areas (Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures).  As for travel-related demand, many regions reported a pick-up or a slower pace of decline; however, the Hokkaido region reported that the pace of the pick-up had slowed, and the Shikoku region noted that demand had been relatively weak as a whole, partly because of the extremely cold weather.

As for housing investment, four regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was increasing or picking up.  The Tokai region noted that it had been solid, and the Kinki region reported that there were signs it was bottoming out.  The Hokkaido region, on the other hand, noted that the pace of the pick-up had slowed, and the Hokuriku and Shikoku regions reported that it had been weak.

As for production, five regions (Hokkaido, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was more or less unchanged, mainly due to weaker exports stemming from the slowdown in overseas economies and the effects of the appreciation of the yen.  On the other hand, the Tohoku and Tokai regions noted that production had been increasing.  In addition, the Hokuriku region reported that it had been recovering, and the Shikoku region noted it had continued to be on a pick-up trend.

By industry, six regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that production in transportation equipment was increasing or had remained at high levels, while the Chugoku region noted that it was more or less unchanged.  Many regions also reported that production in general machinery was increasing or had remained at high levels.  Moreover, many regions reported that production in iron and steel was increasing or had remained at high levels, while the Hokuriku and Chugoku regions noted that it was more or less unchanged.  As for production in electronic parts and devices, the Tokai region reported that it had begun to pick up, and the Kyushu-Okinawa region noted that it had begun to stop declining.

Many regions reported that improvement had been observed in the employment and income situation, although severity remained.

As for the employment situation, most regions reported that it had been improving as a trend.  Many regions also noted that household income had stopped declining.

Table :
Region Public investment Business fixed
investment
Private
consumption
Housing
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido On a declining trend Has been solid as a whole Has been more or less unchanged as a whole, although there are some signs of picking up The pace of the pick-up has slowed More or less unchanged The employment and household income situation has generally been severe, but the labor market is picking up moderatel.
Tohoku Increasing significantly, particularly in construction orders related to the restoration following the disaster Increasing Continues to increase, due to the demand stemming from the disaster, as well as the improvement in the employment situation Increasing, particularly in owner-occupied homes, partly due to reconstruction demand stemming from the disaster Has been increasing, aided by solid domestic demand, recovery in production after the flooding in Thailand, and restoration of damaged facilities of firms, although the effects of the slowdown in overseas economies continue to be observed The employment situation is improvin.
Hokuriku Has been declining, mainly because large-scale construction orders related to the Hokuriku bullet train had ended Picking up moderately on the whole, particularly in manufacturing Has recently been more or less unchanged Has been weak Has been recovering as a whole, although some effects of the slowdown in overseas economies have been observed The employment situation is picking up.  Household income has been at around the previous year's level.
Kanto-Koshinetsu Increasing, due partly to construction related to the restoration of damaged social infrastructure, particularly in Ibaraki Prefecture Increasing, as moves to restore facilities -- mainly in the disaster-stricken areas -- continue Has continued to pick up as a whole, although weakness remains in some aspects of consumer behavior Has continued to pick up More or less unchanged The employment and household income situation continues to be severe, although there are signs of improvemen.
Tokai Has begun to stop declining Picking up, particularly in manufacturing Picking up moderately Has been solid Has been increasing, particularly in automobile-related goods Signs of improvement in the employment and household income situation have been observed, reflecting an increase in productio.
Kinki Has begun to stop declining Has been relatively weak as corporate profits have deteriorated Has continued to pick up moderately as a whole There are signs that housing investment is bottoming out Although there are some signs of a pick-up, production has continued to be relatively weak as a whole and inventories have remained at a relatively high level, due partly to the effects of the slowdown in overseas economies While the employment situation remains severe, it has been improving gradually, with wages beginning to stop declining.  In light of this situation, the year-on-year rate of decline in household income has been moderating.
Chugoku Has been on a declining trend Picking up, particularly in manufacturing Picking up as a whole Picking up Has been more or less unchanged The improvement in the rate of effective job offers to applicants has paused, while the employment situation remains severe.
Household income continues to be weak as a whole, mainly reflecting firms' cutbacks in personnel expenses, but has been improving somewhat as a trend.
Shikoku Has begun to stop declining due to the increase in orders prompted by the implementation of supplementary budgets in some areas Increasing Picking up Has been relatively weak Has continued to be on a pick-up trend as a whole, as some weakness observed in some segments of production has begun to ease The employment situation has been on an improving trend.  
Household income has more or less stopped declining.
Kyushu-Okinawa Declining Has been relatively weak Has been solid as a whole Has continued to pick up moderately More or less unchanged as a whole, but there are some signs of picking up The employment and household income situation has remained severe as a whole, but the labor market is improving somewha.

Appendix: Prefectures Included in Each Region

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

Notice

Please contact below in advance to request permission when reproducing or copying the content of this report for commercial purposes.

Please credit the source when reproducing or copying the content of this report.

Inquiries

Regional Economy Group, Research and Statistics Department

Tel : +81-3-3277-1357