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Regional Economic Report (Summary) (January 2014)*

  • 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.

January 16, 2014
Bank of Japan

All regions reported that the economy had been recovering or recovering moderately, reflecting firm domestic demand, a moderate increase in production, and improvement in the employment and income situation.

Compared with the last assessment in October 2013, four regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that their economic assessments regarding the pace of economic improvement had remained unchanged; five regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, Chugoku, and Shikoku) reported upward revisions to their economic assessments, mainly reflecting improvement in private consumption supported by the employment and income situation.

Table : Regional Economic Report
Region Assessment in October 2013 Changes from the previous assessment1 Assessment in January 2014
Hokkaido The economy has begun to recover moderately. upper right The economy has been recovering moderately.
Tohoku The economy has been recovering. unchanged The economy has been recovering.
Hokuriku The economy has been picking up steadily. upper right The economy has begun to recover moderately.
Kanto-Koshinetsu The economy has been recovering moderately. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately.
Tokai The economy has been recovering moderately. upper right The economy has been recovering.
Kinki The economy has been recovering moderately. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately.
Chugoku The economy has been recovering moderately as a whole. upper right The economy has been recovering moderately.
Shikoku The economy has begun to recover moderately. upper right The economy has been recovering moderately.
Kyushu- Okinawa The economy has been recovering moderately. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately.
  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 and Kyushu-Okinawa regions reported that it was increasing significantly, and six regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Chugoku, and Shikoku) noted that it was increasing or had maintained an increasing trend. The Tokai region noted that it had been at a relatively high level.

Four regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Tokai) reported that business fixed investment was increasing, and four regions (Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that it was picking up or that signs of a pick-up were becoming widespread. The Hokuriku region noted that it had been resilient. Meanwhile, many regions reported that business sentiment was improving or that improvement in business sentiment had continued and become widespread.

As for private consumption, with improvement in the employment and income situation, the Hokkaido region noted that it was recovering moderately, five regions (Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was picking up moderately or picking up, and the Kanto-Koshinetsu region noted that it had shown increased resilience, with somewhat strong movements in metropolitan areas. The Tohoku and Chugoku regions reported that private consumption had been resilient.

As for sales at large retail stores, many regions reported that sales at department stores had continued to show signs of picking up or had been firm, mainly due to firm sales of high-end goods. Several regions noted that sales at supermarkets had generally stopped declining or had shown signs of picking up.

Many regions reported that automobile sales were increasing, mainly due to the effects of the introduction of new models and the front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax hike.

Many regions reported that sales of household electrical appliances had begun to pick up or had been resilient, supported mainly by firm sales of energy-efficient white goods.

Many regions reported that travel-related demand was picking up or had been firm. Meanwhile, several regions noted an increase in the number of foreign visitors to Japan.

As for housing investment, eight regions (Tohoku, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was increasing, partly due to the front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax hike. On the other hand, the Hokkaido region noted that the pace of the pick-up had slowed.

As for production (industrial production), against the background that domestic demand had been firm and also that overseas demand was picking up moderately, five regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, and Chugoku) reported that it was increasing moderately, and the Tohoku and Shikoku regions noted that it was picking up. The Tokai region reported that production had been at a relatively high level. Meanwhile, the Kyushu-Okinawa region noted that the moderate increase in production appeared to have come to a pause.

With regard to production by industry, the following developments were reported. Transportation equipment had been at a relatively high level or had been stepped up. Iron and steel and chemicals had continued to be at high levels or had been more or less unchanged. General-purpose, production and business oriented machinery was picking up. Metal products and ceramics, stone and clay were increasing. Meanwhile, electronic parts and devices showed mixed developments; some regions reported that they were picking up, while others reported that they were losing momentum.

Many regions reported that the employment and income situation was improving.

Many regions reported that supply and demand conditions in the labor market were improving. As for household income, the Kyushu-Okinawa region reported that it was more or less unchanged, while five regions (Hokkaido, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Tokai, Kinki, and Shikoku) noted that household income had shown signs of improvement or had shown signs of picking up, mainly reflecting increases in non-scheduled cash earnings and bonuses.

Table :
Region Public investment Business fixed
investment
Private
consumption
Housing
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Has maintained an increasing trend, reflecting the effects of various economic measures Increasing, reflecting the improvements in sales and profits amid the moderate economic recovery Recovering moderately, supported by the improvement in consumer sentiment, together with the moderate improvement in the employment situation The pace of the pick-up has slowed Increasing moderately, against the background of the rise in demand both at home and abroad Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving. Household income is picking up as non-scheduled cash earnings and winter bonuses increased in a wide range of industries.
Tohoku Increasing significantly, primarily in construction orders related to the restoration following the earthquake disaster Increasing Has been resilient Increasing, partly due to reconstruction demand stemming from the disaster Picking up The employment and household income situation is improving
Hokuriku Has maintained an increasing trend Has been resilient, particularly in manufacturing Picking up moderately Increasing Increasing steadily The employment and household income situation is picking up
Kanto-Koshinetsu Increasing Has been on an increasing trend, particularly in nonmanufacturing Has shown increased resilience, with somewhat strong movements in metropolitan areas Increasing, mainly due to the front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax hike Increasing moderately Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving and household income has continued to show signs of picking up
Tokai Has been at a relatively high level Increasing further Picking up Increasing Has been at a relatively high level The employment and household income situation is improving
Kinki Increasing Signs of a pick-up are becoming widespread Picking up moderately, assisted mainly by the improvement in consumer sentiment Increasing Increasing moderately Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving. In this situation, household income has also shown signs of improvement.
Chugoku Increasing Picking up, particularly in nonmanufacturing Has been resilient Increasing Increasing moderately The employment situation is improving moderately. Household income has been relatively weak, but movements toward a pick-up have become widespread.
Shikoku Increasing Picking up Picking up moderately Increasing Has begun to pick up moderately Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving and household income has shown signs of picking up
Kyushu-Okinawa Has continued to increase significantly Picking up, particularly in nonmanufacturing Has shown signs of picking up, assisted mainly by the improvement in consumer sentiment Increasing steadily, in part due to efforts to tap potential demand against the background of low interest rates, and also partly due to the front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax hike The moderate increase appears to have come to a pause, affected partly by the reorganization of production systems in some industries The employment and household income situation has remained severe, but supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving, particularly in nonmanufacturing

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

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