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Results of the Regional Economic and Industrial Research (April-June 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 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 Hokuriku region, has remained the same in the Tohoku, Kinki, Shikoku and Okinawa regions, and has been revised downward in the Hokkaido, Kanto, Tokai, Chugoku and Kyushu regions.

As for production in the automobile-related industries, many regions show a decrease due to the influence of production line shutdowns as a result of earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture and other elements, while some businesses in the Tokai and Kyushu regions have resumed production and have been recovering a loss in production, according to comments from some respondents. As for production in the electronic devices sector, sales growth for smartphones shows a slowdown due to the influence of the Chinese economy and other elements, while sales in the Hokuriku and Kinki regions remain steady. In the general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery sector, there are steady movements in the Kanto and Hokuriku regions mainly for machine tools.

Concerning business investment, some manufacturers have engaged in proactive 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 and renovation of existing shops.

As for the employment situation, a labor shortage remains from the previous quarter. Businesses show some movements for raising compensation for securing human resources as well as for securing and retaining human resources by promoting existing non-regular employees to regular employee status.

As for private consumption, a tendency in declining consumer confidence is seen mainly among middle-class consumers. Some respondents comment that even at supermarkets they will only buy what is necessary. In the home appliance industry, sales of major appliances remain steady. In sales in the automobile industry, a recovery in the sales of light vehicles is delayed due to the impact of the fraudulent declaration of fuel consumption ratios by manufacturers, while for normal passenger vehicles, the effect of new-model cars has been observed. As for tourism, the consumption behavior of foreign tourists has been changing.

Regional Economic and Industrial Research

The regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry 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 service areas such as those related to business conditions, production, and investment in facilities. They then collect and analyze the survey results.

METI has compiled the survey results applicable to the April to June 2016 period (the survey was conducted from June 8 to 30, 2016, covering 825 companies).

Note: The regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry include the Hokuriku Branch of the Electricity and Gas Industry, and the Economy, Trade and Industry Department of the Okinawa General Bureau.

Release date

July 26, 2016

Division in Charge

Regional Economic and Industrial Research Office, 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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