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Results of Regional Economic and Industrial Research (January-March 2018)

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 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." Compared to the previous quarter, the assessment of the regional economic situation remains the same for Hokkaido, Tohoku, Tokai, Hokuriku, Kinki, Kyushu and Okinawa, while the assessment was revised upward for Kanto, Chugoku and Shikoku.

1. Regional Economic and Industrial Research

The regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry conduct surveys in their service areas using interviews and other techniques on a quarterly basis for the purpose of identifying economic trends, such as those related to business conditions, production and investment in facilities. The Bureaus then collect and analyze the survey results.

  • Survey period: From February 28 to March 30, 2018
  • Number of target companies: 770

2. General Summary

Improving moderately (no change)
Production maintains steady as seen in brisk production of semiconductor manufacturing devices in the general-purpose, production and business-oriented machinery industry and electronic parts and devices for automobiles. Business investment shows proactive movement in the investment for production improvement and laborsaving. Regarding the employment situation, the effective ratio of job offers to applicants has remained at a high level. Private consumption is brisk for luxury goods and inbound consumption continues to be favorable.

3. Regional Summary

[Hokkaido] Picking up (no change)
Production shows signs of picking up thanks to an increase in the production of beer, while partly showing sluggishness with a decrease in wrapping paper production. Private consumption is picking up backed by the steady performance in the sales of duty-free items and food and beverage. Tourism maintains brisk performance backed by an increase in the number of overseas tourists.

[Tohoku] Picking up moderately although some businesses show weak performance (no change)
Production shows signs of picking up due to a high production level in electronic products for automobiles and semiconductor-related products. The employment situation is improving. Private consumption is at a standstill partly due to snowfalls.

[Kanto] Improving (upward)
Production shows signs of picking up due to briskness in the general machinery industry, etc. The employment situation is improving steadily. Private consumption is picking up with the improvement in consumer confidence continuing in middle-class consumers, as seen in their shopping trends at department stores.

[Tokai] Improving (no change)
Production shows moderate increases in the transportation equipment, and electronic parts and devices industries. Private consumption is moderately picking up thanks to steady performance in convenience stores and drug stores.

[Hokuriku] Improving (no change)
Production remains at a high level mainly in the electronic parts and devices, and chemicals industries. Private consumption is moderately picking up although the number of visiting customers decreased due to heavy snow.

[Kinki] Improving moderately (no change)
Production remains flat but at a high level mainly in the general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery, and electrical machinery industries. Private consumption is moderately improving backed by steady sales of duty-free items and luxury goods purchased by wealthy-class consumers and the briskness in sales of high-priced functional white goods.

[Chugoku] Picking up (upward)
Production as a whole remains flat, centered on the automobile and other major industries. Private consumption is picking up thanks to brisk sales of high functional or high-value-added products and seasonal goods.

[Shikoku] Picking up moderately (upward)
Production is moderately picking up backed by steady demand in the pulp, paper, and paper-processed products, and general-purpose and production machinery industries. Private consumption is showing signs of picking up, with a sales increase in food and beverages due to brisk sales of precooked or frozen foods

[Kyushu] Improving moderately (no change)
Production continues to be at a high level with some signs of weak movement. Business investment for production increase or opening of new stores is being observed. Private consumption is steady as seen in the sales of luxury goods and cosmetics, etc., although sales of clothing are sluggish.

[Okinawa] Continuing to improve (no change)
Against the backdrop of the increase in the number of tourists in the service area and the improvement of employment environments, private consumption continues to improve. Business investment is also picking up.

* "upward" shows that the assessment was revised upward from that for the previous quarter, while "no change” and “downward” revision.

Appendix

Release date

April 27, 2018

Division in Charge

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

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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