Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Results of the Regional Economic and Industrial Research (October–December 2014)

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has compiled the results of the regional economic and industrial research that the regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry (including the Hokuriku Branch of the Electricity and Gas Industry, and the Economy, Trade and Industry Department of the Okinawa General Bureau) conduct on a quarterly basis to identify regional economic trends, and hereby releases the results.

Highlights of the results

The assessment of the national economic situation remains unchanged from the previous quarter. It maintains its “picking up” status, although some businesses show weakness. Compared to the previous quarter, the assessment of regional economic conditions has been revised upward in the Hokuriku and Kyushu regions, has been revised downward in three regions, namely Hokkaido, Tokai, and Chugoku, and remains the same in the five remaining regions.

Production in the automobile industry has demonstrated weakness overall. While international automobile sales, particularly for North America, have shown steady performance, domestic sales still have maintained a weak tone. Production in the electronics and devices sector as well as the general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery sector have shown steady performance in foreign markets.

Concerning business investment, some manufacturers have engaged in proactive investment toward enhancements of production capacity, while non-manufacturers nationwide have demonstrated activity towards opening new locations, mainly in the retail sector.

As for the employment situation, according to the comments from some respondents, a labor shortage continues from the previous quarter, and some businesses in the retail and service sectors are facing difficulties in securing part-time staff.

As for private consumption across Japan, sales at department stores and supermarkets are recovering, while for sales in the automobile and home appliance industries, the effect of the reactionary decline after the last-minute increased demand preceding the consumption tax hike still remains. Some respondents see that private consumption still shows a tendency toward inexpensive purchases and that sales recovery in suburbs has been slower than in city centers. In the travel sector, the number of foreign tourists continues to increase from the previous quarter, according to the comments from some respondents.

Regional Economic and Industrial Research

The regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry (including the Hokuriku Branch of the Electricity and Gas Industry, and the Economy, Trade and Industry Department of the Okinawa General Bureau) survey enterprises in their local jurisdictions using interviews and other survey techniques on a quarterly basis for the purpose of identifying local economic trends, such as those related to business conditions, production, and investment in facilities, and they collect and analyze the survey results.

METI has compiled the survey results applicable to the October to December 2014 period (the survey was conducted from November 21 to December 19, 2014, covering 828 companies).

Release date

January 28, 2015

Divisions in charge

Regional Bureau Administration Office, Regional Economic and Industrial Policy Group

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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