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Regional Economic Report (Summary) (April 2016)*

  • 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 7, 2016
Bank of Japan

Compared with the last assessment in January 2016, the Tohoku region revised its assessment downward, noting that production had continued to be somewhat weak, whereas the other eight regions reported that their assessments regarding the pace of economic improvement had remained unchanged.

The Tokai region noted that its economy had been expanding at a moderate pace as a trend, and the other eight regions reported that the economy had continued its moderate recovery trend, or had been recovering moderately, or had continued to recover. These reports were based on the assessments that, on the domestic demand side, business fixed investment had been on a moderate increasing trend and private consumption had been resilient against the background of steady improvement in the employment and income situation, although exports and production had been sluggish, due mainly to the effects of the slowdown in emerging economies.

Table : 1
Region Assessment in January 2016 Changes
from the
previous
assessment1
Assessment in April 2016
Hokkaido The economy has been recovering moderately. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately.
Tohoku The economy has continued to recover moderately, although production has been affected mainly by the slowdown in emerging economies. lower right The economy has continued its moderate recovery trend, as production has continued to be somewhat weak, affected mainly by the slowdown in emerging economies.
Hokuriku The economy has continued to recover. unchanged The economy has continued to recover.
Kanto-Koshinetsu The economy has continued to recover moderately, although exports and production have been affected mainly by the slowdown in emerging economies. unchanged The economy has continued to recover moderately, although exports and production have been affected mainly by the slowdown in emerging economies.
Tokai The economy has been expanding at a moderate pace. unchanged The economy has been expanding at a moderate pace as a trend, although exports and production appear to have declined temporarily, affected by a suspension of production in automobile-related industries.
Kinki The economy has been recovering moderately, although exports and production have been affected by the slowdown in emerging economies. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately, although exports and production have been affected by the slowdown in emerging economies.
Chugoku The economy has been recovering moderately. unchanged The economy has been recovering moderately.
Shikoku The economy has continued to recover moderately. unchanged The economy has continued to recover moderately.
Kyushu-Okinawa The economy has been recovering moderately. unchanged The economy has continued to recover moderately, albeit being affected mainly by the slowdown in emerging economies.
  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 had been at a high level, and the Kanto-Koshinetsu region noted that it was increasing recently. On the other hand, seven regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was declining, or that it was on a declining trend, although it remained at a high level.

As for business fixed investment, the Hokuriku and Tokai regions reported that it was increasing steadily, or increasing significantly, five regions (Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) noted that it was increasing moderately, or increasing, and the Hokkaido and Tohoku regions reported that it had been at a high level, or had been firm.

Meanwhile, three regions (Hokuriku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that business sentiment had generally stayed at a favorable level. On the other hand, the Kinki region noted that business sentiment was deteriorating, mainly in manufacturing, three regions (Tohoku, Tokai, and Chugoku) reported that it had become somewhat cautious, the Kanto-Koshinetsu region noted that it had generally stayed at a favorable level, but some cautiousness had been observed in some industries, and the Hokkaido region reported that it was flat.

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

As for sales at department stores, it was noted that the pick-up had shown signs of pausing as a whole, while there were reports that they had been solid, or had been firm. As for sales at supermarkets, it was reported that they had continued to improve, or had been firm. Furthermore, it was noted that sales at convenience stores had been firm, or were increasing.

As for automobile sales, it was noted that they had been below the previous year's level, while there were reports that they had been more or less flat, or had been solid.

As for sales of household electrical appliances, it was noted that they had been below the previous year's level, while there were reports that they had been solid, or were picking up, or were recovering moderately.

As for travel-related demand, it was noted that demand had been below the previous year's level both for domestic and overseas travel, while there were reports that it had been solid, primarily in domestic travel, or was trending upward, chiefly in domestic travel. Meanwhile, several regions noted that the number of foreign visitors to Japan had continued to increase.

As for housing investment, the Kanto-Koshinetsu and Shikoku regions reported that the pick-up had recently paused, while the Tohoku region noted that it had been at a high level, and six regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it was picking up moderately, or picking up.

As for production (industrial production), due mainly to the effects of the slowdown in emerging economies, six regions (Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu-Okinawa) reported that it had continued to be somewhat weak, or that the pick-up had paused, or that it had continued to be more or less flat. Meanwhile, three regions (Hokkaido, Hokuriku, and Tokai) reported that it had been at a high level, or was increasing moderately.

With regard to production by industry, the following developments were reported. Transportation equipment was picking up moderately, or was increasing moderately, while there were reports that it was declining, or had shown neither positive nor negative movements. General-purpose, production and business oriented machinery, electronic parts and devices, and electrical machinery had been at high levels, or were increasing moderately as a whole, while there were reports that they were declining, or had continued to be somewhat weak. Meanwhile, chemicals was increasing moderately, while there were reports that the level of production was declining. Moreover, iron and steel had continued to cut back on production.

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, or were tightening. As for household income, many regions noted that it was improving steadily, or increasing moderately.

Table : 2
Region Public investment Business fixed
investment
Private
consumption
Housing
investment
Production Employment and income
Hokkaido Declining Has been at a high level Recovering on the back of steady improvement in the employment and income situation Picking up moderately Increasing moderately Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are improving steadily. Household income is recovering.
Tohoku Has been at a high level, primarily in construction orders related to the restoration following the earthquake disaster Has been firm Has been resilient Has been at a high level Has continued to be somewhat weak The employment and household income situation is improving
Hokuriku On a declining trend Increasing steadily Picking up Picking up Has been at a high level The employment and household income situation is improving steadily
Kanto-Koshinetsu Increasing recently Increasing Has been resilient The pick-up has recently paused Has continued to be more or less flat, due mainly to the effects of the slowdown in emerging economies and due partly to inventory adjustments 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 significantly Has been picking up as a trend, although sluggish movements have recently been observed in some aspects Picking up Has been increasing moderately as a trend, although it appears to have declined temporarily, affected by a suspension of production in automobile-related industries Supply and demand conditions in the labor market are tightening and household income is improving steadily
Kinki Declining 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 begun to pick up Has recently been more or less flat. Meanwhile, inventories have been at a somewhat high level. With supply and demand conditions in the labor market continuing to improve, household income is improving further
Chugoku Declining moderately Increasing moderately Has been resilient Picking up Has been more or less flat as a whole The employment and household income situation has continued to improve steadily
Shikoku On a declining trend, although it remains at a somewhat high level Increasing moderately Picking up moderately Movements toward a pick-up have recently paused The pick-up has paused Supply and demand conditions in the labor market have continued to improve steadily and household income is picking up moderately
Kyushu-Okinawa Declining moderately Increasing Picking up moderately as a whole amid steady improvement in the employment and income situation, although some weakness has been observed in some aspects and consumer sentiment has recently become slightly cautious Picking up moderately Has recently declined slightly, although it remains at a somewhat high level, amid the ongoing effects of the slowdown in emerging economies 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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