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Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2015)*

  • 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 13, 2015
Bank of Japan

Compared with the last assessment in January 2015, six regions (Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that their assessments regarding the pace of economic improvement had remained unchanged, and the other three regions revised their assessments upward by noting that the pace of recovery had accelerated.

All regions reported that the economy had been recovering moderately or recovering, mainly against the background of a pick-up in production assisted primarily by a moderate increase in demand both at home and abroad and of the ongoing steady improvement in the employment and income situation.

Table : Regional Economic Report
Region Assessment in January 2015 Changes
from the
previous
assessment1
Assessment in April 2015
Hokkaido The economy has been recovering moderately, although some weakness has been observed in some aspects. Meanwhile, the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike has been easing. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately, although some weakness has been observed in some aspects.
Tohoku The economy has been recovering moderately, while the effects of the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have been waning gradually. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately.
Hokuriku The economy has continued to recover moderately as a trend. Meanwhile, effects such as those of the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have been waning on the whole. upper right The economy has been recovering.
Kanto-Koshinetsu The economy has continued to recover moderately as a trend, and effects such as those of the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have been waning on the whole. unchanged The economy has continued to recover moderately.
Tokai The economy has continued to recover as a trend, and the effects of the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have been waning on the whole. upper right The economy has continued to recover steadily.
Kinki The economy has been recovering moderately as a trend, while the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike has been observed. upper right The economy has been recovering.
Chugoku The economy has been recovering moderately as a trend, although somewhat subdued growth has been observed on the production side. Meanwhile, the effects of the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have begun to wane on the whole. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately.
Shikoku The economy has continued to recover moderately as a trend, and the effects of the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have been waning on the whole. unchanged The economy has continued to recover moderately.
Kyushu-Okinawa The economy has been recovering moderately. Meanwhile, the subsequent decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike has been easing. 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 region reported that it was increasing moderately, and four regions (Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Chugoku, and Shikoku) noted that it had more or less leveled off at a high level. On the other hand, four other regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was declining, although it remained at a high level.

As for business fixed investment, three regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, and Tokai) reported that it was increasing further, three other regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Kinki) noted that it was increasing, or increasing moderately, and the other three regions (Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was picking up. Meanwhile, it was noted that business sentiment had shown somewhat weak movements, mainly in manufacturing, while there were reports that it had continued to be on an improving trend, or had generally stayed at a favorable level.

As for private consumption, with the employment and income situation continuing to improve steadily, the Hokkaido region noted that it was recovering, despite differences across subregions and industries, four regions (Hokuriku, Tokai, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was picking up moderately, and four other regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, and Chugoku) noted that it had been resilient as a whole.

As for sales at large retail stores, it was noted that some weakness had been observed in some aspects, while there were reports that sales had been firm, or were picking up moderately.

As for automobile sales, it was noted that recovery had been sluggish, while there were reports that sales had been more or less flat, or had been solid, or that they had shown some signs of picking up.

As for sales of household electrical appliances, it was noted that recovery had been sluggish, while there were reports that sales had been solid, or had shown some signs of picking up, or that they were recovering moderately.

As for travel-related demand, it was reported that demand had been solid, primarily in domestic travel, or had been firm. Meanwhile, several regions noted that the number of foreign visitors to Japan had continued to increase.

As for housing investment, the Kinki and Kyushu-Okinawa regions reported that it had been weak, while three regions (Hokkaido, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Chugoku) noted that it had started to bottom out, and the Hokuriku region reported that it had been more or less flat. Meanwhile, three regions (Tohoku, Tokai, and Shikoku) noted that it had been at a high level, or had been resilient as a trend.

As for production (industrial production), mainly on the back of the progress in inventory adjustments in durable consumer goods and other goods, as well as the pick-up in exports, four regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, and Kinki) reported that it had been at a high level, or was increasing, and four other regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that it was picking up, or picking up moderately. Meanwhile, the Chugoku region reported that it had been more or less flat as a whole.

With regard to production by industry, the following developments were reported. Electronic parts and devices and electrical machinery were increasing, or had continued to be at relatively high levels, general-purpose, production and business oriented machinery was increasing moderately, and transportation equipment had moved up to a higher level, or had continued to be more or less flat at a relatively high level. Meanwhile, iron and steel and chemicals had been more or less unchanged.

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

Many regions reported that supply and demand conditions in the labor market had continued to improve steadily. As for household income, many regions noted that it was picking up steadily, or increasing moderately.

Table :
Region Public investment Business fixed
investment
Private
consumption
Housing
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Declining, although it remains at a high level Increasing further, reflecting the improvements in sales and profits amid the moderate economic recovery Recovering, mainly on the back of improvement in the employment and income situation, despite differences across subregions and industries Has started to bottom out Has been at a high level, against the background of firm demand both at home and abroad, although some weakness has been observed in some industries Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving steadily. Household income is recovering.
Tohoku Increasing moderately, primarily in construction orders related to the restoration following the earthquake disaster Increasing moderately Has been resilient on the whole, with the decline in demand following the front-loaded increase in durable consumer goods easing Has been at a high level, as the decline in demand following the front-loaded increase has been easing and also due to construction of public housing for disaster-stricken households Has started to pick up The employment and household income situation is improving
Hokuriku On a declining trend Increasing further, particularly in manufacturing Picking up moderately Has been more or less flat Increasing The employment and household income situation is improving steadily
Kanto-Koshinetsu Has more or less leveled off at a high level Increasing Has been resilient as a whole, although some weakness has been observed in some aspects Has recently bottomed out, although the decline in demand following the front-loaded increase had continued Picking up Household income is increasing moderately, as supply and demand conditions in the labor market continue to improve steadily
Tokai On a declining trend, although it remains at a high level Increasing further Has been picking up as a trend amid improvement in the employment and income situation, and the effects of the decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have generally begun to dissipate Has been resilient as a trend, and the effects of the decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike have begun to wane Increasing moderately The employment and household income situation is improving
Kinki Has more or less leveled off at a high level Increasing Has been firm as a whole, amid improvement mainly in the employment and income situation, although recovery has been sluggish in some aspects Has been relatively weak as a whole Has been increasing as a whole to a relatively high level, although inventory adjustments have been observed in some industries. Meanwhile, inventories are declining. With supply and demand conditions in the labor market continuing to improve, household income is improving further, as wages have exceeded the previous year's level
Chugoku Has more or less leveled off at a high level Picking up Has been resilient as a trend Has started to bottom out Has been more or less flat as a whole The employment situation is improving steadily. Household income is picking up steadily.
Shikoku Has been at a high level Picking up Picking up moderately Has been resilient as a trend, while the decline in demand following the front-loaded increase prior to the consumption tax hike and other movements have been observed Picking up moderately Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving and household income is picking up moderately
Kyushu-Okinawa Has been weakening somewhat, although it remains at a high level Picking up steadily Has begun to pick up as a whole, with the employment and income situation improving steadily, although some weakness has been observed in some aspects Has been weak. Meanwhile, housing starts have generally bottomed out. Picking up Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving steadily and household income is picking up moderately

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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