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Results of the Regional Economic and Industrial Research (January–March 2016)

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 METI hereby releases the results.

Highlights of the results
The assessment of the national economic situation remains the same as that in the previous quarter. It is “improving moderately although some businesses show weakness.”

Compared to the previous quarter, the assessment of regional economic conditions has been revised upward in the Hokkaido region, has remained the same in the Tohoku, Kanto, Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku and Okinawa regions, and has been revised downward in the Hokuriku and Kyushu regions.

As for production in the automobile-related industries, sales, particularly to overseas such as North America, have shown steady performance, while showing a decrease due to the effects of plant shutdowns as a result of an accident at a steel manufacturer. Production in the electronic devices sector, mainly for in-car products and smartphones, has shown steady movements, while the effects of the Chinese economy continue to be seen. In the general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery sector, there are steady movements while the effects of the Chinese economy are seen.

Concerning business investment, some manufacturers have engaged in investment toward the enhancement of production capacity and streamlining, while non-manufacturers nationwide have demonstrated a tendency toward opening new locations in the retail sector.

As for the employment situation, according to comments from some respondents, a labor shortage remains from the previous quarter, and some say that this tendency will persist in the future while movements of companies to expand employment are rising, although others say that businesses have secured adequate human resources.

As for private consumption across Japan, sales of food and beverages at supermarkets and sales of luxury goods at department stores remain steady. Meanwhile, sales of clothing are slow due to the warm winter. In the home appliance industry, sales of major appliances remain steady. In sales in the automobile industry, sales are still affected by the light vehicle tax hike. As for tourism, consumption by foreign tourists is brisk, according to 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 service areas using interviews and other survey techniques on a quarterly basis for the purpose of identifying economic trends in the areas, 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 January to March 2016 period (the survey was conducted from February 26 to March 28, 2016, covering 810 companies).

Release date

April 20, 2016

Division in Charge

Regional Economic and Industrial Policy Division, Regional Economic and Industrial Policy Group

Related Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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